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GORBMB, 1914, ST 




A. The Race Problem and Race Prejudice. 

S^ I. A Fools' Paradise for Negroes ... 7 

II. A Brief Statement of Southern Hu- 

manitarianism 22 

III. Curing the South : Sai^e or Surgery? 27 

IV. The Crux of the Question: Organizing 

TO Answer It 33 

V. Study the Negro Question! .... 55 

VI. Comment on the Indianapolis Discussion 59 

VII. Fuse, Fight, or Fail? 66 

VIII. The Home and the Habitation , . , yy 

IX. Race Orthodoxy in the South ... 92 

B. Reviews of Typical Views. 

I. Philosophical: Murphy's "The Basis of 

Ascendancy" n6 

II. Sociological: Southernism and "The 

Southerner" 149 

III. Philanthropic: "Uncle Tom's Cabin" 

Sixty Years After 170 

IV. Scientific: Boas' "The Mind of Primi- 

tive Man" 206 

C. Views in a Club. 

I. Club for the Study of the Negro Ques- 
tion 230 

II. Proceedings of the Watchtower Club 238 

III. The Negro from the Physician's Point 

OF View 249 

IV. The Negro and the Episcopal Church . 255 



V. Flatform of Principles and 

E. The Caste of the Kin. 

I. Supposed Racial Traits of ti 
tl. Race Sympathy and Race i 

F. Freedom Through the Truth. 

I. The Experience of a Stude: 

Negro Problem .... 
II. The Need of a New Freedom 


I. Ancient Rome and the Southern Race 

A Historical Parallel 

II. Negro Traits and the Negro Problem . 
[II. The Race Question and Southern "I 


[V. Syllabus of Tentative and Suggestive £ 
Study of the Negro and the Negro I 

V. Tentative Suggestive Syllabus of a Si 
Study of the Negro 


A. The Race Problem and Race Prejudice. 

(This paper was used as a test of public opinion in magazine 
circles. The editor of a very high-grade journal wrote the author 
in a manner that expressed deep interest in the paper; he asked 
for permission to keep the paper longer and to send it to a "friend 
who knew Southern Conditions." The editor afterward returned 
the paper because his "friend" thought that the present writer's 
views were too pessimistic, and that the latter would "fed bet- 
ter" after he had mingled more with "practical men." Inasmuch 
as the paper was directly based on conversations with many de- 
cidedly practical representative men of both races as well as upon 
several years' special field study of Southern conditions, the charge 
of pessimism due to academic seclusion cannot be taken very seri- 

If the American negro becomes afflicted with racial 
mania, melancholia or paranoia, the fault will lie at 
the door of the white people of the United States. Listen 
to the voices that come to the f reedman from books 
and pamphlets, newspapers and magazines! One says: 
''You are a great people in the making ; you have quali- 
ties and powers that the world needs; your race is the 
youngest and most unspoiled; you have made in a few 
years an amount of progress that puts to shame the 
achievements of any other race during the same length 
of time; your vitality, your patience, your adaptability, 


8 Eace fl)tt{iotiosp in tbt ^outb 

your sweet reasonableness, your childlikeness, your po- 
tentialities full of promise — these make you a Chosen 
People. Only persevere and assert your powers, and 
you will win a notable place among the peoples of the 
earth." Another cries: "You are of all people the 
most miserable! Your physical stock is deteriorating; 
your fertility is rapidly decreasing; your bodies are 
faster and faster becoming the prey of the race-destroy- 
ing diseases; your progress, so far as you have made 
any, is due to the help of the white civilization that has 
coddled you and without which you would sink into the 
savagery whence you recently came ; you are not patient, 
but dull and stupid and lacking in the self-assertion of 
the people that have the law; your powers of imitation 
are those of the jackdaw and not those of the Japanese. 
You are childish, shallow, sensual and incoherent. Make 
up your minds to the annihilation that is coming to your 
race, and may your end be an euthanasia V 

And a third voice exclaims: "Industrial education! 
Own your homes! Prove that you are needed! Thrift 
and honesty and purity will save you!" 

How sad the pathos of it all ! As a rule, neither the 
negro nor his friends nor his enemies has studied this 
most difficult and complicated problem, except in a 
scrappy and unsystematic way. "Studies" enough there 
are, but little that satisfies even a t3rro in any one of the 
many sciences that have to do with the Study of Man. 
Disputants seize on the same "facts" to prove theses 
worlds apart. Prejudice against the negro race or in 
favor of him has very often rendered the "facts" mis- 
leading. Avowed men of science usually prefer to study 
ethnological peculiarities in far-off peoples rather than 
concern themselves with a question that is "in politics" 
and is so full of snares to the wary as well as the un- 


9 iFool0' PataQi0e for lOegtoes 9 

wary. A "favorable" study meets with the enthusiastic 
approval of one set of citizens, and an "unfavorable" 
study receives the praises of another set And yet we 
are living in an age of organized science. Even such 
"political" questions as the tariff and trust regulation 
are receiving the careful attention of science and scien- 
tific experts. But where is the cooperative scientific 
group that is studying the negro question? How few 
are the first-class men that are making this most baffling, 
distressing and imminent of human problems the object 
of devoted and patient scientific investigation ! Must we 
wait until all other pressing problems have been worked 
on before coming to this question of most immediate 
human concern? 

Even the few who are doing worth-while work in this 
field are scarcely cooperating, and those who seem to be 
cooperating are seldom capable of doing scientific work. 
Meanwhile clamor fills the air; the gap between the 
whites and blacks is widening, at the North as well as 
at the South; money is being poured into educational 
and other philanthropic enterprises in behalf of the 
negro, while at the same time the dominant race, North 
and South, is instinctively reducing discrimination 
against the negro to a fine art. 

Truth to tell, this whole subject seems to bristle with 
delusions and illusions. The negroes are talked about 
as if they were all alike. Even those who call attention 
to the inunense individual differences among human 
beings in general and negroes in particular are all too 
apt to lose sight of this point when practical results are 
aimed at. Some of the negro's friends seem to hold 
the doctrine that a remnant always and everywhere can 
save a people. On the other hand, those who have no 
faith in n^^o possibilities explain away "exceptional" 

lo Eace fl)tt|otiosp in tbt 9out|i 

cases, and seem to aver that even if there were a rem- 
nant of good negroes these would leave no descendants, 
or if they did that the idea of ten men saving the city 
does not apply to the negro race. Indeed, both sides — 
all sides, for there are many more than two— seem to 
be concerning themselves with what the negro may be 
or may have been, rather than what he is and has been. 
Yet the man in the street knows that we cannot fore- 
cast the future except from the vantage groimd of the 
past and the present. This notion is true in physical 
science, and needs must be applied to every case of the 
science of man, in spite of the unfortunate fact that the 
anthropological and social sciences have climbed only a 
little way up the ladder of scientific method and re- 
sults, so that even the simplest questions of "races and 
peoples" are still in the region of conjecture and con- 
troversy. Bold, therefore, the men who, without long- 
continued scientific special study, would venture on pre- 
diction in a region where fog and mist obscure even the 
plainest landmarks. 

Even if we admit for a moment that good work is 
being done in the study of negro character, for ex- 
ample, how many first-rate men are making a careful and 
conscientious study of the Southern whites and the 
Northern whites in their respective relations to the 
negro? Does it not seem a plain matter of common 
sense, for instance, that there should be a very pains- 
taking investigation of "race prejudice" in the world 
generally, in the United States especially, and in the 
South most particularly? Even Southerners, to say 
nothing of Northerners, do not as a rule seem able to 
state their own views correctly as to what is race preju- 
dice. Occasionally some writer makes a "try" at an 
explanation, but — well, nothing comes of the effort! 

9 iFool0' pataQi0e for lOegtoetf n 

Finot quite correctly states that race antipathy is not 
primarily instinctive, but forgets to tell us anything defi- 
nite about what it is, or to explain its causal efficacy. 
Other writers have made various and sundry remarks 
about the "former slave" factor and the economic com- 
petition that has something to do with certain forms of 
race prejudice. But most of the speculation on the sub- 
ject is in the clouds. 

One evident classification of race attitudes might serve 
as a point of departure for further study :* There is a 

r^*^ f^^ity tn hp fnnnH tTi^jp|y f^^ntig fhn<u^ r»f\\n ^Q^f 

into econ nmir <;pnnpetitinn with the negroes; ^ Ta^^" 

l^^ wf^jyh m^Y ^ 3t>cfVi#>f^Y an^ cn/^iat i{^^ politic?^ ; & 

t^fjjpn Only those belonging to the third class can lead 
successfully in the study of the negro question, and 
among them only individuals who have an intimate 
knowledge of the first two classes and a real sympathy 
for them, as well as an equally real sympathy for the 
subordinated race. To take an example, President Eliot 
belongs to the third class, and probably has some sym- 
pathetic knowledge of the second, but has had neither 
opportunity nor, possibly, desire to understand sympa- 
thetically the viewpoint of the first class. Some repre- 
sentatives of the humanitarian group feel it difficult to 
understand why an illiterate and even vicious white man 
should object to dining with a highly cultured negro 
gentleman. To them the attitude of the "low" white 
man seems essentially illogical and absurd; but it is not 
so to the man who knows the "low-grade" white man 
from the inside. The whole picture changes when one 
knows "what it is about." Social attitudes at bottom 
are concerned with marriage and all it stands for. Now, 

* Compare paper on The Crux of the Question, p. 33. 

12 Eace fl)rti)0D0£p in tbt %otttb 

race con&nenrt^ may preymt ttip ypUght;^tjfd^JTtiman!- 

tarian from .eacoucagingJa. any way tiie interbreeding 
of th ^ t:wQ raf^^. F^^^-pfHf ^iH cl^t^^ t^Alpy^ragA man 
whojs-3villing.lo ackopwJblg&ibe excellence of cerlain 
individual jiji^grQea. But may it not require race enmity 
to prevent the amalgamation of the "lower" grades of 
the higher race with the higher grades of the lower 

Mind you, I am stating this simply as a matter that 
deserves study. If it be true or possibly true that race 
enmity serves the function above mentioned, will not 
our position on the race question be radically altered if 
we take this idea, even as a possibility, into consider- 
ation? I think so. 

Practical men everywhere believe in the common-sense 
principle of the adaptation of means to ends. But how 
many investigators have pointed out the inexpugnable 
truth that all our efforts directed toward the bettering 
of the negro's life and the development of his charac- 
ter must be profoundly affected by the question, in- 
sistent and remorseless, What is going to become of the 
negro; what are we going to do with him; where shall 
he work out his own salvation in fear and trembling? 
Some few stoutly declare that we must get rid of the 
negro. Various schemes of deportation, colonization 
and the like are suggested. But these hints of a radical 
solution are generally so vague and have so little con- 
nection with accurate observation and reflection that 
little heed is paid to them. It is the fashion to reply 
somewhat impatiently to these radicals: Your sugges- 
tions are impracticable; the negro must stay with us. 
Sometimes the additional claim is made that we cannot 
get along Without the Brother in Black, or that he cannot 
get along without us. 

9 iFool0' paraDi0e for Jl3e0toe0 13 

Among the negro leaders themselves little favor is 
shown toward the colonization idea. The Booker T. 
Washington group and the W. E. B. DuBois group are 
one in rejecting the very thought of separation. Now 
is it possible that such able men as Washington and 
DuBois have failed to understand the temper of the 
white people of this country? Are they misled by the 
optimism of philanthropists? Have they failed to no- 
tice the growing y^/-^ Hicfrjr'V^^^'^n ?gaiTTgt t^f *^^gr^ 
i|] thi> Ngrfh and the iTrrifaii"g eronrmif ^?it^H gf th^ 
"**firo in the grm t^P And surely all men see that the 
old affection felt for the Southern negroes by the slave- 
holding class is rapidly passing away with the departure 
of the '*old-time*' Southern people from the stage of 
life. Nor can even a superficial observer miss the clear 
evidence that the old-fashioned "human rights" doctrine 
is no longer being embraced con amore in this country. 
The abolitionists have left few spiritual descendants, and 
the few have little or no power to carry out their views. 
The last introduction of a "political practice" Force 
Bill into the halls of Congress was only a perfunctory 
performance that was treated almost as a joke. Mean- 
while, the Southern states continue to "keep the negro 
in his place" — without showing any popular intention of 
ever letting him climb higher. As Senator John Sharp 
Williams has truly said, the trouble lies in the "physical 
presence of the negro." 

On the one hand,' the conscience of the American 
people is not likely to deprive the worthy and qualified 
negroes of any of their civil and political rights; on 
the other hand, the Southern people show not the slight- 
est disposition to encourage the negro in believing that 
*'some of these days" he will be held the white man's 
equal in matters affecting the rights of citizenship. No 

14 Eace fDttbohotv in tbt %otttb 

statesman yet born has been able to disentangle the 
interwoven threads of domestic, social, religious, legal 

and political life. -^n Inng as the nfgr^ is A^harr^ 

Torn the hope of being vah iH ^rrnrA'tf%g ff\ hic ^^i^rafc 
tgr instead of his race" .so J^ig-wil Lthe **problem'' re- 
jhaiBLimscilxed. ~ 

/ But am I wrong in believing — 'for I cannot now scien- 
^ tifically prove the assertion — ^thatalLfonnsjof-llcquality'' 
^ jdepend on social equality and that the latter iepcnds on 
the right bt ihtietmarnage? My reading of history sup- 
ports the contention. Fustel de Coulanges'"*" illuminating 
study, "The Ancient City" (to take one illustration), 
makes it plain that^e Roman Plebeians never got their 
Ct y^ rights until intermarriage was allowed with the Patri- 
' ' cians. Human life in society is one, and its basis is bio- 

logical, with all the meaning of "natural selection" and 
/" "sexual selection," and with modes of "social selection" 
to boot. Willingness to "rear a dusky brood" is not 
impossible to the consciousness of most men; but race 
\ prejudice is driving the idea far afield in the United 
'l States of America and in the British possessions. As 
/ a rule, men dare not allow themselves, especially in the 
(^ South, to think of such a thing. 

However, without discussing the point, I am^ making 
t he plea here, as elsewhere in this paper, that the race 
prob lem „should htjstudied, and by competent, trained 
minds, and wi th all the methods known to the biological, 
psychological, anthropological and social sciences. It 
seems almost cruel to tell ten millions of people that there 
is "a good time coming" for them in this country, when 
the facts of increasing race feeling all point the other 
way. Even more cruel is it to inform them that they 

*See Appendix: Ancient Rome and the Race Problem in the 

9 jFools' ^ataofffe tot Btetott 15 

are handicapped, hopelessly and finally, by Nature, and 
cannot hope to develop as a race. "The white man 
doesn't want the negro in his way — and, apparently, all 
ways in this country are becoming the white man's way; 
and nature does not want the negro anywhere I" Now, 
the first part of this sentence, put into the mouth of the 
pessimist, is probably true. This is becoming true in a 
most sinister fashion as the years go by; but surely no 
man that loves mankind can, without being morally and 
sdentiiically sure of his ground, allow himself to accept 
the doctrine of despair that condemns the negro to 
ultimate destruction. 

If t he negro is to staywith us, we must help him to 
d evelop himself to fit in with the present and probable (^i 
future civilization of the cou ntry. If he is to go abroad 
on the earth, or to be segregated in American territory, 
his training will have to take such a future into account / 

Are we not v nr*itif> -tlTrm gT]f^ m^nsy ir^^^j^VJT»g ^i'" / 
peoB lf in thf dark'' Shall we educate liiem to do eco- / 
nomic battle with the white race, with the practical cer- 
tainty in view that they will fail in their fight? Or can 
we view with equanimity the thought of "high-grade"- 
negroes or mulattoes overcoming "low-grade" white ' 
men? Doubtless some are doughty enough to say. Let ' 
the white man go down if he cannot compete with the 
negro. But it may happen that the negro's success, if 
he achieves any, will be due to qualities not sought after 
by the white race. The Japanese and other race "prob- 
lems" wiU have to be solved before we can allow our- 
selves, to harbor even the most pragmatic form of that 
alluring doctrine: "The devil take the hindmost I" 
After all, we cherish our own, whether high or low. 
The Congress of the United States seems to have thought 
so in their legislation with regard to Chinese immigra- 

i6 Eace fDttbonoj^ in tbt ^ut| 

tion, and in other ways that need not be mentioned 
Whatever we may say in print, we Americans have a 
"favored race" clause in that unwritten constitution of 
ours which is more ''national" than our written docu- 
ments. Even now the Anglo-American warcry. This is 
a White Man's Country, is sounding throughout the 
world, wherever whites constitute a fair percentage 
of the population. And politicians and statesmen are 
being compelled to pay heed to it. History should by 
this time have taught us the significance of race feeling 
as a compelling and often a controlling factor in the 
development of peoples. Our Bible is full of it Our 
experience with the Indians has made us familiar with it, 
in spite of the romantic interest the red man inspired. 
Armenia, Austria-Hungary, the Balkan States, the treat- 
ment of Jew by Gentile — all these tell the tale ; how is it 
that we have failed to learn our lesson with those object 
lessons before us? The Indians, whether "American" 
or Hindu, are interesting in a novel or a write-up, es- 
pecially when we have no first-hand acquaintance with 
them; but woe to them or their ilk if they come into 
antagonistic relations with our social or our economic 
life! Though we marvel at the wonderful heroism and 
resourcefulness of the Japanese, many of us feel a sort 
of humiliation that a nation of white folk allowed them- 
selves to be humbled by a nation of yellow people. 

Is not feeling or impulse sometimes a more powerful 
historical force than ideas ? Must not the noblest thought 
suffuse itself in feeling and get close to the primary 
impulses of the common people ere it acquire active and 
telling energy? The human instinct betokened by the 
saying "Birds of a feather flock together" is none the 
less true because man has grown more cosmopolitan and 
humanitarian in his feelings. We need a new Kant to 

9 iFool0' paraDi0e for Il3e0toe0 17 

arise who will give us a "Critique of Pure Instinct" 
When such a work is written and takes hold of the 
world's leaders, we shall have no more attempts to alter 
the eternal constitution of man's nature in favor of 
academic ideas however noble. When man's strongest 
acquired instincts or habits become suffused with his 
strongest feelings, as in the case of race attitude in 
America, let all of us pay due heed to the phenomenon 
and strive to guide rather than ignorantly to alter or 
suppress. \ ^^^^ tilrfia dy insisted tha t ra^i* fflmity^j*^ 
nnt ^'^in^^^j but *Von.sf;i?u.snfss of ^^'"^"J^^jgstir^^*^^ — 

id kini^ and "}c\n " a^ bottom mean prettv nearlv t he 
sa me thing to ^! if aYfragcjU^^n Nor is it singular that 

le Southern people especially take accotmt of the ^*kin- 
ness" of things. Their whole history has shown their 
feeling for the kin, their fondness for local self-govern- 
ment, their powerful feelings about domesticity. A 
people cami bt be altered by l a w and argu ment when the 
logic of blood^nd tradi tion speaks otherwise, and when 
history and social psychology give large significance to 
their point of view. 

Jhe practical psychology oi the ^nation seems .to 
indicate, on the whole* that the negro must find some 
x gpre congenial field than the Southern st ates for the 
s^er^jolJuft-^^eyek^gnent. While few Southern leadds 
:e this admission, many would do so if a labor supply 
were at hand. And do the people of the North and 
West feel fundamentally different on this subject? I 
doubt it. In spite of all our manly talk about giving 
every man a ''square deal," most of us are inclined to 
give the negro justice only on conditions that the giving 
does not harm the dominant race. And t he very pre s- 

mce^ gf a race in tiit^lf>gi*_is 5^ tni*nar^ tn tliA rluwnriff 

of the ruling race, as Jy^^^ T^^cc joitit#>H nn» cnn|f> 


1 8 Eace fSMbohoj£g in tbt 9^ttth 

years ago, even though the decline of the subordinate 
race may not carry the dominant race with it 

All men of good will and higher intelligence wish the 
negro well. But many are coming to wish him well 
away — as many miles removed as possible! And this 
wish is for the negro's welfare as well as for the white's. 
If we, the dominant race, after careful investigation, 
decide that it is best for both races that the whites and 
the negroes dwell in different lands, no amount of money 
is too great that will thus solve or "dissolve" the prob- 
lem. Better spend treasure equivalent to many Panama 
Canals than keep up the direful tragedy now being en- 
acted in a Christian nation. 
^x^^Ttour American people have a "God-given destiny," 
surely we ought to begin its fulfilment by taking the 
beam out of our own eye in order that we may see well 
enough to take the mote from our brother's eye! The 
ten millions of defenseless negroes have a right to call 
on Heaven for vengeance on us if we fail in our duty 
to them. And surely the nation owes a duty to the 
"retarded South." For it needs no argument to prove 
that we white folk must do the best we can for the suc- 
cess and happiness of our own race. If investigation 
can help us to decide the fateful question, let us investi- 
gate. But we are only shallow mockers and hypocrites 
if we strive to educate these unfortunate negroes only to 
let them take into their mouths bitter Dead Sea ashes. 
If the negro is not to remain here, every acre he ac- 
quires complicates the problem; yet his advisers, North 
and South, are telling him to buy land. Already he 
finds that he cannot purchase city lots that are desirable, 
and the time may be coming, may be near at hand, when 
he will find it hard to buy good land anywhere in this 
country at any price. More and more, as the years roll 

9 iFool0' paraDi0e for s^tstott 19 

by, is he being "ordered oflf the premises" in residence 
sections of the cities and in divers country communities, 
and even whole counties. If an owner of city lots is 
regarded as infamous if he sells his property to a decent 
negro, can we wonder if the lowest of the low among 
the poorer whites come to look upon the matter in the 
same light as that which illumines the "prejudice" of the 
dwellers in fine houses? 

Summing up our thought, let us seriously ask our- 
selves the question, Are we preparing the negro to dwell 
in a Fools' Paradise ? A small percentage of the negroes 
a re doubtless getting a kin3rof training that will fit them 
for almost any e mergency. Industri al sch ools are doing 
for the negro the_§prt of serviceHKe may need tmder 
almost any conditions. But even their work will be 
vastly more useful if directed toward a well-understood 
end, a carefully__inapped out future for the students. 
Hqw cheerfully would the people of the whole country 
give of their money and their service did they know that 
their nieans and their efforts would result in settling 
the negro problem. And how blithesomely would the 
better negroes work for the. betterment of their race did 
they know that their people would have a fair chance 
somcwKere, somehow, some timel At present many of 
the negro leaders have depre ssion^at the bottom of their 
hearts. How could it be otherwise, when facts are so' 

After years of silent observation and study, and care- 
ful reading on all aspects of the subject, after long resi- 
dence in North and South, I am inclined to believe that 
we must find a home for the negro where he will have 
a fair chance, where he will be aided by us in every 
sane way, where he can prove himself to be a worthy 
race. If he fails, then we shall at least have done our 

20 Eace fDttbolun^ in tbt %ottth 

duty. If he succeeds, we shall enjoy the satisfaction of 
having succeeded in the noblest deed that history re- 
cords. Once we decide on such a course — ^and the negro 
will help us to decide — it may take half a century of 
time and many millions of money to prepare a place or 
places for him and properly establish him therein. But 
we are a people of large deeds, and our faith is such as 
will remove mountains of difficulty. Let us not forget 
that, while it is our pleasure to extend our markets and 
facilitate our trade, we owe a solemn duty to these 
people and to our own people. Not for one moment 
would I be represented as saying that my tentative opin- 
ion as to the solution of the negro problem is neces- 
sarily the correct one. Much careful investigation is 
needed before anyone can do more than hazard a well- 
based judgment. If, however, what I have said helps 
ever so little to direct the conscience of our people or 
any one of our leaders toward the painstaking, intelli- 
gent, scientific, cooperative study of this vexed ques- 
tion, I shall feel that the weight of responsibility that 
every honorable American must feel in this matter has 
at least been a little eased from my own aching shoul- 
ders. For of all things pitiable it is one of the most 
trying and grief-inspiring to dwell in this sweet and 
sunny South while the tragedy that is retarding two 
peoples' development goes on around one! Praise or 
blame for the people of the South are not important 
matters. I doubt if a finer stock could be found any- 
where than these Southern white folk, my own people. 
But the situation is too much for us. We cry out strenu- 
ously. Let us solve our own problem! But we are not 
solving it; indeed, the complication of it is growing. 
Nor can the Northern people solve it,, for they are far 
less equipped than Southerners in their knowledge of 

9 SfooW paraDf0e for Btfpcoti 21 

the negroes and of Southern conditions. Our Mace- 
donian cry must go out to all men who care for human 
beingS; all men who have apostolic "charity" (caritas), 
and would not that a single man should be lost because 
he has not been understood. 

So, while we need notcsasfitalkingand writincLabout 
t he negro question ^ let us study it m the light of twen-j 

t we must 

finally reach the colonization solution, every year of de- 
lay adds immensely to the difficulty of the undertaking. 



(Summary of commencement address to graduating class of Uni- 
versity Training School, Oxford, Miss.) 

1. No person should expect to be listened to sympa- 
thetically in Mississippi or anywhere else in this country 
whose point of view in regard to the negro question is 
not substantially that of the American citizen and the 
Christian gentleman. 

2. The American citizen believes that all men have a 
right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happines/' and 
that there should be "equal rights for all, special privi- 
leges for none." 

3. The Christian gentleman believes that God is the 
loving Father of all men, and that He "made every 
nation of men for to dwell on all the face of the 
earth, having determined their appointed seasons and 
the bounds of their habitation." (Acts: 17, 26.) And 
^^ f^rth ^r believe that Q}X\^f Hi^ri for all man nf ^v^ry 

oursel ves ; th at all men everywhere are our .maEhborSjaad 
brothers ,so.igx.As Ji&hts,.aa(^^^ Jife 

are concerned^ that, finally, if we "love not .our. Ijrothcr 
whom we have seen" — ^no matter if his appearance does 
not please our aesthetic sense — "hpw-^xan we.lpve God 
whom we havenot seen" ? 1 

4. The above view claims equality rights for all 
men. But equality of rights in the abstract does not 


^utiiern i^um8nftati8nf0m 23 

presuppose equality of exercise of those rights in the 
, concrete. A young man of twenty may be an accom- 
plished gentleman and a useful citizen, but he does not 
Iquarrel with the state for not giving him the franchise. 
Millions of noble and thoughtful women are not given 
the legal right to vote, even though thousands of their 
number are qualified to hold some of the highest offices 
in the land. Yet the insistent demand for woman suf- 
frage is not as yet very general among women. Expe- 
diency and the general welfare must determine how far 
the exercise of rights must be held in abeyance; but to 
deprive human beings of their fundamental rights of 
life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, except as a 
means for securing these rights for Society and Man in 
general, is un-American, inhuman, un-Christian. Nor 
has pride of race any justification in usurping for itself 
the role of Providence and deciding what shall or shall 
not ultimately be the destiny of any race, nation or 
people, f^he greatest good of the greatest number and 
the preservation of the highest civilization are principles 
that may justify the holding in tutelage of an alien race \ 
or people until in the process of time such race or people ■] 
are fit to exercise their rights in a way useful to the | 
general weaD But the pleasure or the convenience or 
the prejudice of the stronger race is not to be the ar- 
biter of another people's fate for all time ; rather let the 
enlightened thought of humanity decide as the years go 
by when and where every people may have their full 
and free development. 

5. Just as the law insists that parents and guardians 
must show forth the character appropriate to their rights 
and duties in regard to the children under their charge, 
so the enlightened conscience of humanity insists with a 
mighty and compelling voice that a superior race has 

24 Eace fDttbohoi^ in tbt %otttb 

rights over an inferior race only in so far as it has a 
responsible conscience void of offense toward those 
under its tutelage. Unworthy ^yplnitatinn ni \}\\x[pn 
beings in any form i<^ ^ *^pi ttin^ up^ n thp m^^fr nf God 
a nd a dire insult to God Himselt w hich H|e will r"^fft 
s urely ave nge. 

6. The Christian gentleman or the ethical humani- 
tarian is one who goes far beyond legal rights and duties 
in his kindness toward those seemingly his inferiors. 
He knows that his own superiority, if it exists, imposes 
upon him the obligation of noble conduct toward his 
inferiors — noblesse oblige. And no more certain test of 
true gentility can be found than real manliness and real 
gentleness. The bravest are the tenderest, and the brutal 
are spiritual cowards. The Christian gentleman is 
scarcely distinguished by the cut of his coat or his gal- 
lantry to ladies, but rather by the way he treats dumb 
brutes and the human crawlers on life's hard roadway. 
The Christian gentleman is a knight without fear and 
without reproach, not a harsh and arrogant egotist; a 
sayer of kind words, not a hurter of tender feelings ; an 
encourager of noble aspiration, not a scoffer at honest 
effort. And the Christian gentleman's words and deeds 
apply equally to rich and poor, white and black. His 
heart responds to the tender words of South Carolina's 
cherished Hampton, gallant soldier, upright servant of 
the people, knightly Christian gentleman, who cried with 
his dying breath : "God bless my people, white and black 
— God bless them all." And yet Hampton knew that his 
"people" were really two peoples and that the whites 
must nile. 

7. Thoughtful experience at the South is beginning 
to admit not only that the "appointed season" of the 
negro race has not arrived, but also that the bounds of 

^outdern i^umanitarfanf0m 25 

their habitation may not be set here for all time. The 
negro will not be allowed to share the white man's 
"season" through amalgamation. No sane leader of 
thought and action desires such a ''solution," which is 
worse than the "problem." Shall the negro, then, remain 
forever as a subordinate and an alien race, to be ex- 
ploited in the supposed interests of the white man and 
to have all hope of free development blasted in his 
breast? Surely not! The present situation is bad 
enough, but these "solutions" are worse. And do history 
and experience show any other solutions to be possible? 

8. Immediate and wholesale deportation is a futile 
dream. But if the sovereign people of this rich and 
powerful and God-fearing country decide that our black 
brethren cannot in justice to them and ourselves remain 
where they cannot hope to become a real part of our 
national life, then we shall gradually, carefully, scien- 
tifically and thoroughly prepare the negro and ourselves 
for an inevitable separation, and the brother-in-black, 
"at sundry times and in divers manners," will find a 
home for himself, and under his own vine and fig tree, 
in his own country, "work out his own salvation." And, 
if he works his own damnation, we at least shall not be 
blameworthy, for we will prepare him during years for 
his life apart, and all the world will help him find his 
place, for God alone knows what each man's place is. 

9. This is not a question to be settled altogether by 
politicians and elections. The time will come when we 
shall know what ought to be done with the negro. And 
when that time comes let the statesmen and politicians 
put into effect what the best research and the wisest 
benevolence of the country sanction. In^ the meantime 
Ut-thejiggro "keep hijij^lacc" and dream no idlpjdreams 
of equality for which intermarriag'g alnn(> could m^e 


Eace fDttbohoi^ in tbt %otttb 

him eligible. Let him rather gird up his loins for brave 
effort to make himself worthy of a better fate and a 
fuller life. Let him wait in patience to be called up 
higher by God and good men, and then perhaps in his ''ain 
countree" let him ^'make his calling and election sure." 
ID. A^Qiajsar^t his future, the negro must be educated 
for that future. Therefore, let us study him and the 
whole question, so as to educate him aright for his des- 
tiny and cause to cease the restless agitation and suspi- 
cion that are now a serious drawback to the develop- 
ment of the South. 


"It will but skb knd fUm the ulcerous place. 
Whiles rank corruption, iqlning all within, 
Infects unseen." 

Hard as it is to enter the holy of holies of a little 
child's mind, it is still harder to sympathize with the 
tncongruittes of an alienated personality ; and hardest of 
all, especially for those brought up in another civilization 
or those who have lived all their lives in a peculiar en- 
vironment, to practice the political-psychologic art on a 
whole people when that people's life is spiritually and 
materially abnormal, on account of an impossible situa- 

To read the South's mind to-day is a much harder 
undertaking for either Nationalist or Southerner than 
was the case a quarter of a century ago. For the South 
has caught the commercial spirit, and the average solid 
citizen will say and do nothing that will "hurt business." 
On the contrary, he adopts an optimistic point of view, 
feeling that if outsiders are in a hopeful frame of mind 
on account of the belief that things are getting better in 
all respects, they are more likely to invest in the South 
and build up its waste places, or at least give it a good 
name as a section that invites the investment of capital 
with reasonable safety. These solid citizens do not in- 
tend to deceive others, but they deceive themselves. They 

* Written for a prominent educator. 

shut off all communications from their widely appre- 
hending social instincts, take counsel of their hopes, and 
forthwith become optimists, without fully realizing that 
their optimism is shallow if not dishonest, though not 
consciously. Then, too, the exploiters ! There are more 
of them than one thinks, and they, too, are often uncon- 
scious or half -conscious in their seemingly altruistic de- 
sire to "get" all they can for the South. One cannot 
gauge the feelings of the Japanese by their silken smiles 
while in the presence of the "foreign devils"; nor can 
one judge of the common people's attitude anywhere by 
perusing the speeches and interviews of their leading 
publicists. California withdrew her offensive legisla- 
tion toward Orientals, but does anyone suppose that the 
average Calif omian's feelings have changed in the least? 
And is it surprising that the state's fixed feeling now 
finds expression in the Alien Land Bill ? 

Inasmuch as instincts and habits and social subcon- 
sciousness are the real determining forces in national 
life, one must not expect to get at the truth of things 
Southern by a study of individuals* facile utterances, 
especially to their guests. President Roosevelt was once 
received at Charleston with open arms and the utmost 
enthusiasm. When he was asked about the appointment 
of Crum, a mulatto, to a Federal office in Charleston, he 
thought he was told that the appointment would be ac- 
ceptable. His hosts were in a good humor — for had 
they not expanded their souls amid scenes of wining and 
dining? "Let's not talk politics, but have a good time! 
You'll do the right thing (that is, we hope you'll do 
what we want you to)." No doubt President Roosevelt 
thought that the Charlestonians were "disingenuous." 
And doubtless some of them were, in a sense ! Assertive 

and social instincts do much of their influencing near ' 
the margin and the threshold of consciousness. 

But, replies an optimist, does it not argue well that 
there should be an increasing number of liberal persons 
who take a pride in pointing out the evidences of negro 
progress, and who profess not to object to the exercise 
of the right of suffrage by high-grade negroes — does not 
the existence of such persons indicate a tendency toward 
a better spirit toward the negroes? In such an inquiry 
many things have to be considered. In North Carolina, 
for instance, where our Northern brethren have met 
such "liberal" persons, the negroes have been "squeezed'* 
politically for a number of years. Since the Wilmington 
riot the Republican party has been able to make no 
progress, in spite of their alliance with the populists and 
in spite of North Carolina's having a normally large 
Republican vote. We may also ask what evidences of 
change of heart are these liberal souls able to report 
among the people at large? Have not the Southern 
states continued to enact discriminatory suffrage laws, 
Jim Crow laws, and the like? Is not the South being 
encouraged to treat the negrn eg /i^c nlipft^^ ^y thf cr^"""g 
discrimination against the ne gro in thg North, a dis- 
crimination that is social as well as economic? D oes 
not the South perceive that all the fire has gone out 
of the Northern philanthropic fight for the rights of 
man? ^Ae North has surrend^t ^d! At least that is 
coming to be the practical judgment of the commercial 
and political South. "They are going to let us alone; 
we'll fix things to suit ourselves,*' is the underlying 
feeling of many a Southern leader, even though the 
Southern people generally may not be so optimistic. Mr. 
Alfred Holt Stone, in his recent illimiinating book, rep- 
resents the high-grade Southerner's attitude toward the 



30 iaace fl)rti)oDoxp in tbt %outb 

negro question when he seems to argue that the negroes 
should be treated as a ''peasant class." Individual 
Southerners look with approbation and sympathy upon 
the economic improvement of certain negroes, always 
provided these negroes are "white men's negroes," and 
"know their place." As soon as these negroes begin to 
"put on style" and express their social dignity, even if 
this exhibition is confined strictly to their own race, 
mutterings and murmurings begin. Let these favored 
negroes take the mildest interest in politics or any de- 
cided personal stand against the dominant whites, then 
the trouble begins in good earnest Furthermore, every 
prosperous negro who shows his prosperity in a way to 
be seen by the whites is a focus for hatred on the part 
of the "lower" whites, with whom the "higher" whites 
are vastly more sympathetic than they were thirty years 
ago. White solidarity^ ultimately dominated by the feel- 

ings of the m ajority , is the real danger to the negro. 

long as an mdividuaT negro's vote has no influence 

and is not the expression of a demand for citizenshi p 

( alwa ys, hi storic ally, potentia l social equality ), there 

/^may be acquiescence on the part of many mdividual 

/ whites. But let the negro vote become conspicuous, or 

) let the negro show a consciousness of eqtial citizenship, 

then the lower white and the higher at once feel that 

"this is a white man's country, and the negro hasn't any 

business voting." 

The writer would be greatly pleased to have an oppor- 
tunity to examine and cross-examine more of the liberal 
Southern optimists. Being himself an unswerving be- 
liever in human rights for all races and an uncompromis- 
ing opponent of the "peasant class" idea, he neverthe- 
less feels obliged to say that the low-grade Southerner's 
feelings on this subject have more reality and more 


Cutin0 ttt %outb: %altit ot ftutgetp? 3^ 

validity than those of the occasional liberal optimist. 
And why ? The caption of this paper and the quotation 
from Hamlet with which it begins point to the answer. 
If the negro will not be allowed to have a fully de- 
veloped, self-conscious citizenship and spiritual free- 
dom in the widest sense of the term, are we not treating 
the Southerner ''case/' with salves and lotions, when in 
reality a surgical operation is needed ? .During the last 
few years the ntmibe r of well -balan ced men holding to" 
\ belief in the ultimate separ atioq of tb€ Tfj^^^ has ajb. 
pq(rf>t^^[Y in^^*^*^^ Why? Because of the Southern 
man's underlying consciousness that the negro occupies 
space that could better be filled by the white man. 

If right-minded men want nothing less for the negro 
than a full and free development of character and citizen- 
ship, ought they to be content with present tendencies, 
without making a thorough, cooperative scientific inves- 
tigation of the situation, including a scientific attempt 
to understand the psychology of the white man's mind ? 
We htunanitarians are opposed to amalgamation, or 
peasantry, or perpetual friction and strife, as "solu- 
tions" of the negro problem. There are two other 
"solutions" : Qne has been already hinted ^^tr— colcmizar 
-tictn^ (perhaps ovcF'a pferTddT)^^ years); the 

^ther is a solution that the present vf iriff*^ aHvnra»^rj| f^n 
yparc agp tp hj^ clagff s and in jflaMJi^^ pnmllrl 

fiyiliz?^'^" Will it be feasible to have a parallel civiliza- 
tion for the colored folk? That, it seems to me, is a 
subject for long-continued scientific study. History 
shows no instance of such an arrangement. New Zea- 
land's racial suffrage is the nearest approach to it; but 
the problem is already settled in this case, for the Maoris 
are dying out. Jamaica's "solution" is hardly one that 
the white people of the South would agree to, even if 




32 Eace fl)tti)0D0£p fit ttt ftoutii 

conditions could be as good as in the District of Colum- 
bia! Besides, the American negroes are not Jamaicans 
nor the Southern whites English. Further, Jamaican 
civilization is hardly successful enough to be taken as a 
model by progressive Americans. It may turn out, how- 
ever, that a parallel civilization, with bi-racial suffrage 
and the like, may be possible either as a permanent solu- 
tion, or, what is more likely, as the best temporary solu- 
tion imtil the negroes can be disposed of in a century- 
long colonization and educational preparation therefor. 
The writer is too old in years and experience to prophesy 
rashly, but all successful prophecy is based on insight 
into social and political conditions. More than that, it 
sometimes happens that one can prove the existence of 
instincts that will inevitably produce certain human re- 
sults. Well, the present writer, believing that he had 
acquired some insight on account of his special study 
of the problems of character and on account of his long 
resident study of racial matters, has tried the experiment 
of mentioning to a few friends the thought underlying 
Mr. Carnegie's kindly prophecy of personally owned 
"sweet little homes" for the negroes of the South. The 
reaction was extremely instructive, though it would have 
been startling to the uninitiated to see the look of scorn 
and contempt, or of smiling cynicism, that was to be 
seen on the faces of prominent Southern educators, men 
of culture and Christian nurture. On the other hand, 
when it was suggested that it might be necessary some 
of these days to start in the South the cry: "This is a 
white man's cotmtry ! Don't sell land to a negro. Buy 
back the land for our children," the reaction was still 
more interesting. // something is not done within the 
next few years the cry will he raised and the results of 
it will tend to ''settle" the negro question — "in a way." 


(Written at Conference lor Education in the South, after con- 
ference with one of the great conitructive educational leaden of 
the country.) 

An honest man may be the noblest work of God ; as- 
suredly a well-balanced man is the rarest. For balance 
means not only equipoise in feeling, intellect and will, 
but sanity with salt enough in it, and ethical passion with 
just enough prejudice to be human. To be both inter- 
ested and disinterested, intensive and extensive, idealis- 
tic and practical, cautious and hopeful — these are some 
of the seemingly opposite traits that must be held in 
solution in the character of one who studies the negro 
question. Nevertheless, questions must be answered in 
spite of the imperfections of the would-be answerer; nor 
will they consent to wait until some modem "angelical 
doctor" adequate to the task answers truthfully and yet 
suaviter in modo. Be it my office, therefore, in tiiis 
brief paper, to prepare the way for a fuller statement 
to come when leisure allows, although this present writ- 
ing must partake somewhat of the hurry and scurry 
incident to "writing on the wing." 


Two peoples, representative of the two most widely 
differiog races, inhabit the same territory, supposedly 

34 iftace €tnl)oDo£p in tbt ftoutl) 

share common institutions and a common religion, sup- 
posedly stand equal before the law touching political and 
civil rights, supposedly come perforce into divers neigh- 
borly relations; and yet the one race is regarded by the 
other not only as inferior, but as destined for all time 
to remain subordinate to that other. Time was when 
such a statement would have raised a vigorous if not 
indignant protest from the "friends of humanity" and 
from chivalrous protectors of the weak. We should 
have been told that in political, social and spiritual mat- 
ters, as well as in rights pertaining to one's ownership 
of his own body, a man's a man for a' that and a' that. 
Is the old spirit of abolitionism clean gone, and is South- 
em chivalry become the memory of a valiant gentle- 
man's past? God forbid that we free men's bodies only 
to leave their souls bound by the shackles of ignorance 
and vice and severed from that self-respect without 
which there comes untowardly the early decline-and- 
death of a people's aspirations. 

And all the time men cry peace when there is no 
peace. Though competent observers freely grant that 
the races are drifting farther and farther from mutual 
sympathy and helpfulness, nevertheless many a success- 
ful planter, or investor, or owner of Southern land and 
industries asks us consientious fanatics of the faith 
humanitarian and democratic to "let things be." Even 
the voices crying in the wilderness and calling men to a 
realization of their situation if not to repentance are 
afraid to cry aloud and spare not, because of the feeling 
fashions of the multitude. Though zealous for human 
rights, and even the bondman's human feelings, they 
fear lest they may fail to avoid the appearance of evil 
exploitation or of sectional disloyalty, when they ex- 
press agreement as to htunanitarian principles with influ- 

Ci)e CtU£ of tbt SXutfition 35 

ential and benevolent gentlemen from the yonder side 
of the magic ''line'' that imtil recently used to part 
brethren from one another through sectional inertia and 
chronic mistmderstanding. The mutual understanding 
of Northern and Southern idealists becomes an object 
of suspicion to the growing hatred felt for the n^^roes 
on the part of the masses of the people North and South. 

The South is the most "democratic" portion of the 
Union, and yet appears to the world to suppress those 
whose erstwhile masters found for the principle that all 
human beings have certain inalienable rights and that 
taxation without representation is tyranny. Democracy 
has dressed herself in the arrogant habit of the aristo- 
crat by the grace of God. Then, too, this same favored 
South is the most religious section of the cotmtry. And 
yet, by some strange and tmheralded revelation made 
only to certain publicists and their kind, we are told that 
God intended the negro to be the servant of the whites— 
or to be ''peasantry" — or to be everlastingly subordi- 
nated in vital ways. Conceive, if you can, of a God 
whose predestinating hand condemns a whole race of 
immortal spirits to the eternal ptmishment of spiritual 
slavery I If the negro is content to be thus disposed of 
by these very modern readers of the Almighty Mind, 
the prophet exclaims, "Said I not that he has no future; 
look how he behaves — like an unthinking beast, without 
that self-respect that makes a man a man." And if the 
negro asserts himself the soothsaying representative of 
Eternal Love cries out, "Back to your place, nigger! 
You are trying to get social equality and to destroy our 

A study of the situation will show that comparatively 
few ordinary Southerners believe from the heart in 
n^^o education of any liberal sort or description what- 


36 Eace €trtl)oDo£p fn tbt %outb 

soever; while the few who really believe that all human 
beings should be educated with one voice acclaim the 
demand of Booker Washington for industrial educa- 
tion. But no one has perceived any general eagerness 
on the part of Southern communities to give the "only 
kind of education that a nigger is fit for." Truth to 
say, much of this commendation of Washington's views 
is based upon the thought that, if ''what the negroes 
need" is industrial education, then it follows that they 
need no other kind, and will perhaps keep away from 
the white man and his very delicate and sensitive "civili- 

The tmcritical man reading the above might classify 
the writer as a Northern man and a negrophilist ! And 
yet, as a matter of fact, he is a Southerner of the South- 
erners, of the straitest sect of "white supremacy," and 
in addition has observed for years the Northern feeling 
of repulsion for any sort of physical proximity to the 
negro. Moreover, this same writer is deeply and intrin- 
sically sympathetic with the Southern "orthodox" atti- 
tude, believes it to be rational at bottom, and would not 
change the status quo in the South to-morrow if he 
could do so with one wave of the magician's wand! 
To your tents, O Israel! The Chosen American must 

Earnest and careful students of the negro question 
who have occupied themselves with the ethical and 
psychological aspects of the problems will have reached 
the conclusion that nothing is contradictory or para- 
doxical enough to be waved aside as unmeaning and not 
worth investigation. I plead guilty to the seeming speak- 
ing of foolishness and throw myself upon the mercy of 
the court — the enlightened mind of the sincere student 
of the most difficult, complex and dangerous of human 

Ci)e Ctus of tbt SXumion 37 

situations. In this paper I must attempt to show a real 
reasonableness underlying this apparent blind contra- 
dictoriness and strive at once to explain and to justify 
my attitude. 


The real problem is not the negro, but the white man's 
.attitud e toward the negro. Most observers find no 
trouble in understanding, and even sympathetically, the 
Southerner's prejudice against "social equality." What- 
ever the ultimate explanation, one can with a show of 
reasonableness postulate such a principle of explanation 
as the lack of a larger human sympathy in trying to find 
a basis for social discrimination against the negro; or 
he may resort to the theory of caste, or that of aesthetic 
dislike, or what not. But, asks the dispassionate ob- 
server, what has "social equality" to do with the suffrage 
and political rights in general? Social privileges are 
an affair of choice, custom, convention, fashion and the 
like; then why should we pay any serious attention to 
the man who seems to confound the social with the 
political ? 

The whites used to contend that the ignorant negro 
voter was the real menace. Said they, we cannot afford 
to allow an ignorant and often vicious horde to en- 
danger our civilization. Such a plea seemed reasonable 
enough. In fact, almost every thinker. North and South, 
negro and white, assumes nowadays that the Southern 
suffrage laws, so far as they disfranchise only the ignorr 
ant voter, irrespective of race, are wise and proper. 
Some even go so far as to excuse or at least palliate the 
offensiveness of a law that strives to save the privilege of 

. I ■ I ^ J !■ 

38 JSiatt fl)ttiioDo£p in tbt %outb 

the suffrage for the ignorant white man, on the ground 
that though unlettered and even illiterate, he may have 
some degree of real political instinct and judgment in 
spite of his uneducated condition. And all Southern 
states do not have the "Grandfather Clause," perhaps 
caring more to shut out the negroes than to give privi- 
leges to the illiterate whites. The "understanding*' 
clause, or the poll-tax provision, may be regarded as 
advisable psychological methods of discriminating 
against the negro. Waiving, for the sake of argument, 
the claims just made, I assert, without fear of being 
contradicted by competent observers, that the Southern 
whites in the mass do not want any negro to vote under 
Qfty circumstances. Point out to them that the negro 
voter is no longer a menace to good government, and 
their reply is that "the negro has no use for the fran- 
chise, anyhow." 

A good illustration of this was to be observed in 
Georgetown, S. C., some years ago. I found that the 
yotmger white voters were bent on causing trouble at 
the polls during a municipal election. I inquired 
whether they feared that the negroes might carry the 
election. The reply was in the negative. The "audac- 
ity" and "impertinence" of the negroes in "daring" or 
"presuming" to vote was the trouble. The spontaneous 
remarks of average citizens and the express utterances 
of influential leaders, such as Tillman and Hoke Smith, 
who arc really representative of the tendencies of the 
Southern masses, point in the same direction. So I 
think that we may assume that the great majority of 
the Southern whites resent negro citizenship whenever 
expressed in a guo^representative (racial) capacity. 
If it be true that the suffrage is the lineal descendant of 
the dub and the flst, as defenders of the home, then 

Ci)e Ctu£ of tiie irtnesttion 39 

wc may connect together the following indications : The 
disfranchisement of the negro; the disbandment of col- 
ored militia in the South; the strong Southern feeling 
against the enlistment of negro soldiers in the United 
States army ; Southern opposition to negro office-holding 
and jury duty. 

Voting, whatever its origin, is the expression of the 
sovereign rights of the free citizen. When a man votes 
he practically says to every other man in the commu- 
nity, *1 am as good as you are before the law." Now 
this is just what the average Southern white man wishes 
to deny in the case of the negro, so far as active citizen- 
ship is concerned. In effect he says, "You are not my 
equal as a citizen and you shan't pretend that you are. 
If you vatmt your equality at the ballot box there's no 
telling what other claims you will be making ^ext. 
Efface yourself and keep in your place as a subordinate 

But why does the white wish the negro to remain / 
subordinate, in spite of the former's passionate belief in 
democracy and evangelical Christianity ? Practically 
every white man will reject the explanation that he 
doesn't want a "race of former slaves" to enjoy political 
equality with himself. Such an explanation is some- 
times made at the North and at the South, but not, 
ordinarily, by the average Southern whites in spon-- 
taneous conversation. 

This passionate aversion to negro suffrage has grown 
in proportion as social class lines among the whites have 
become obliterated. For instance, the Tillman move- 
ment in South Carolina and the Vardaman movement 
in Mississippi carried with them the cry that the Demo- 
cratic party is a "white man's party." Hence, tmder 
the influence of the "extremist" leaders, the rules of the 

40 lElace fl)rt{)oDo£p in tbt %outb 

Democratic primaries in these two states read all negroes 
— ^including negroes who have hitherto passed as "Demo- 
crats** — out of participation in the primaries. In the 
seventies negro Democrats were highly esteemed and 
their votes were sought. In proportion as the ranks of 
the humbler whites achieved more and more success as 
practical factors in politics, the negro — to use a term 
made famous in Dr. Prince's "Dissociation of a Per- 
sonality" — became "squeezed." He is not even allowed 
to become a sort of subconsciousness or penumbral "co- 
consciousness." He must relapse into complete political 
tmconsciousness, and is to be counted only to keep a 
quorum. In finCj disfranchisement of the negroes has 
been concomitant with the growth of political and social 
solidarity among the whites. The more white men 
recogfnize sharply their kinship with their fellow whites, 
and the more democracy in every sense of the term 
spreads among them, the more the negro is compelled 
to "keep his place" — ^a place that is being gradually nar- 
rowed in the North as well as in the South. 

Thus it has come to pass that political privilege is 
instinctively regarded as the legal expression of a poten- 
tial social equality. This feeling is especially keen in 
V the South because the people are social in their political 

activities. Picnics and barbecues are common and popu- 
lar; social classes of all kinds freely mingle at times; 
the "professional" politician is ordinarily more of a 
"hero" and less of a grafter and exploiter than in the 
large cities of the North; the identification of a party 
with a race has become complete ; the belief in that race 
as the "chosen people of God" is practically an unwrit- 
ten creed stronger than ecclesiastical dogma. Indeed, at 
the South, "white supremacy" is an integral part of the 
religious consciousness, as much so as is racial faith 



Cfie Ctus of tbt €tue0tioit 41 

among the Jews or among the Boers. Now, recall the 
Hebrew belief so often expressed by the biblical writers 
that God punished the chosen people because they did 
not exterminate the Canaanite tribes, and one has an 
ancient picture on a large canvas of the at present less 
virulent feeling of the Southerner, that the chosen 
people must sustain their God-given supremacy, come 
what will — "they the heirs of all the ages in the fore- 
most files of time." George Washington was the father 
of the white man's country, not the negro's country; 
my country" of the national hymn is not the negro's 
sweet land of liberty" ; Jamestown and Plymouth Rock 
were in no respects beginnings of a negro "native land." 
Professor Burgess's definition of a "nation" is acceptable 
to the South, for it stresses community of descent and 
tradition. Even the "coon song" expresses comically the 
tragic fact that "every nation has a flag but the coon." 
The etymological meaning of "nation" (birth) is the 
one to which the Southern people adhere. And shall 
we say that they are historically and psychologically, 
even biologically, unreasonable? The negroes, indeed, 
are aliens to all intents and purposes, and aliens that 
cannot be assimilated. In the body politic they are inor- L ' 
ganic substances that cannot be either digested or got 
rid of, and tending to become virulent poisons ! At heart 
the white man's fear is not objective "social equality." 
He does not believe that the negro race can ever be the 
equal of the white race in any worth-while way. But 
he shrinks from social contact except on a well-defined 
basis of "white supremacy"; it is the negro's assertion, 
present or possible, of his equal racial worth — ^this it 
is that irritates the white man, for assertions tend to 
become far-reaching acts. 

Now, this principle of white supremacy is not a new 

thing. It is not only a result of white superiority, but 
also of civic order and the public weal. Even the declara- 
tion of the French revolutionists and the Virginia Bill 
of Rights, while maintaining the doctrine of liberty, 
equality and fraternity, distinctly state that the public 
safety and the public weal must always determine the 
realization and expression of human rights. In the 
family relations the wife and minor children do not 
practice their "inalienable rights" in the same manner 
that adult males do. Rights are relative to public wel- 

Historically, political and social relations have ever, 
at least potentially, been closely connected. The plebeians 
in ancient Rome got their political rights through the 
assertion of social rights and in connection with inter- 
marriage. The first fruit of plebeian political rights 
was the repeal of the anti-amalgamation laws. And let 
us remember that in Greece and Rome, as well as India, 
it is probable that caste originated in racial differences. 
In England, too, to take a more modem instance, from 
the time of the Norman Conquest until the present, so- 
cial and political relations have gone hand in hand, and 
amalgamation has tended to solve all social-political 
problems. The average Southerner doesn't know much 
about such history, but he has the instincts that have 
made, are making and will make history. For, say what 
we will, may not all the equalities be ultimately based 
on potential social equality, and that in turn on inter- 
marriage? Here we reach the real crux of the question. 

If there were a blindly instinctive basis for racial dis- 
like, not much could be urged in extenuation of the 
anxiety felt by Southern racial orthodoxy. But even 

* See Ritchie, Natural Rights, and J. F. Stephen, Liberty, Equal- 
ity and Fraternity. 

C^e CtU£ o( tbt SXtttntion 43 

the high-souled Tennyson, in "Locksley Hall/' draws a 
picture of the reckless, disappointed youth, who has an 
impulse to wed a dusky maiden and rear a dusky brood. 
It is just because primary race feeling is not deeply ^ 
based in human instinct, whereas the mating instinct is 
so based, that a secondary racial feeling, race-pride, 
comes in from a more developed reflective consciousness • 
to minimize the natural instinct for amalgamation. 

^ady even fiendish^ as race prejudice may become, it 
may have its part to play in default of some higher 
force« in the conventional life of the soul among nations. 
4Uid *'secondanr instincts'' often, perform an important 
fuhclibh in'hullifying or inhibiting primary instincts."*" 

* Southerners do not ordinarily have the biological and esthetic 
repulsion that is usually felt by Northerners toward the Negro. 
Familiarity, in biological matters at least, sometimes breeds com- 
plaisance or indifference rather than contempt And the memory 
of ante-bellum concubinage and a tradition of animal satisfaction 
due to the average negro woman's highly developed animalism are 
factors still in operation. Not a few "respectable" white men have 
been heard to express physiological preference for negro women. 
If, therefore, animal appetite may become more powerful than race 
pride, it is not surprising that race hatred is superinduced in those 
who offend against race purity; for abnormal sexuality easily de- 
velops brutality. The race hatred of white offenders is an in- 
stinctive effort to neutralize the social effects of an impulse that 
would ordinarily tend toward the legitimation of amalgamation. 
Under the influence of race enmity, even concubinage tends to give 
place to impersonal and infertile forms of animal satisfaction. 
Thus the element of kindliness that often belongs to concubinage 
jrields to a mere animal convenience that may be consistent with 
race enmity on the part of the white offender. Of course the in- 
crease of race hatred has the net result of decreasing the amount 
of interracial vice. Thus does the negro woman become more 
and more a cheap convenience of the occasional sort, and the 
purity of the white race is protected at the expense of the white 
man's appreciation of the negro woman's personality. 

m^AmXM — - f^T 

44 Hace fl>ttf)0D0£p fn tfie 9outi) 

In this connection it will be useful to classify roughly 
the various manifestations of race prejudice.* (i) 
Race enmity is largely based on economic competition 
with those regarded as interlopers who do not belong to 
the "caste of the kin" (as I am in the habit of calling 
white solidarity). Inasmuch as human relations are 
organically connected, it usually happens that when un- 
like peoples come into industrial competition the feeling 
of unlikeness — ^"I do not like thee. Dr. Fell ; the reason 
why I cannot tell" — ^becomes sharpened by the laws of 
association and contrast, and economic hate easily b e- 
comes social hate.. For example, note the race feeling 
against the Chinese, cured ty exclusion of the Mongols 
and followed by a similar outbreak against the Japanese. 
In the latter case the "superiority" of the Japanese adds 
fuel to the flames, just as the attempt to show forth the 
wonderful performances of gifted negroes often seems 
to accentuate the average Southerner's antagonism 
toward the negroes as a race. Consciousness of compe- 
tition quite easily develops into the feeling that the 
[/' lowest white man is incomparably (withal representa- 
tively) superior to the highest negro. Here we have 
federal racial solidarity with a vengeance! (Compare 
certain forms of the evangelical doctrine of the Atone- 
ment. ) Sympathy with the lower whites, as it increases 
with growing political and social solidarity, results in 
contagious increase of race enmity among the higher 
whites. (Compare books on social psychology, chapters 
on social suggestions, the "Mob Mind," etc.) Personal 
suffering due to negro criminality still further recruits 
from the higher grades the ranks of this lowest and 

*I apologize to the general reader for discussing this topic at 
all, and to the student of the negro question for not discussing it 
more fully. 

C^e Ctu£ o( ti)e £tue0tfon 45 

therefore most dangerous level of race feeling, which 
nevertheless is possibly the only form that can success- 
fully prevent the animal passions of the morally less 
developed whites from tending toward social mingling 
with negroes and the ultimate effacement of the protec- 
tive "color line/' 

(2) Race Pride, Most members of the better class 
of citizenship in the South belong to this class, although 
here, as in all such classifications, there is much over- 
lapping. Not a few of the uneducated classes, especially 
those whose humanitarianism is genuine and practical, 
are by nature inclined toward race antipathy, but have 
a conscience culture developed toward a higher attitude. 
The resultant is a respectable form of race pride. On 
the other hand, some of the highest types of mind are 
drawn toward a view much lower than the highest on 
account of personal experience with race contact of the 
bitter sort. Race pride is social and aesthetic in its 
origin rather than economic, though at all times liable 
to drift toward race enmity on account of economic 
competition or the untoward personal experiences above 
referred to. Jfride of race seems to be a. form of racial 
self-respect and loyalty to traditions and institutions. 
However, it can seldom give a reason for the faith that 
is in it. Hence the "average solid citizen" is not able 
to account for his seeming inconsistency in his treat- 
ment of the finer types of the negro race. While he 
frankly admits the validity of enlightened moral prin- 
ciples, he fails to explain the subconscious relation of 
"equalities" to one another; nor does he clearly see the 
social-psychological principles that give some sort of 
validity to an extension of the biblical insight that no 
man liveth unto himself and none dieth unto himself. 
He easily becomes impatient or angry when his seeming 


inconsistencies are pointed out, and not seldom contents 
himself with telling the Northern objector to "come 
South and live among the negroes for a while," or "take 
a few millions of the negroes up North." 

(3) Race Conscience. This attitude is of course the 
highest and the only one that possesses real moral valid- 
ity. But in order to be healthy it must have experi- 
mental and sympathetic knowledge of the lower atti- 
tudes. ''First the natural man and then the spiritual 
man." The idealistic doctrinaire is not a real specimen 
of this type of attitude. "My people do not under- 
stand," can be said of him. Perceptive and empirical 
understanding must ever underlie logical and scientific 
thinking on social subjects, whatever may be true in 
other spheres of human thought 

Race conscience holds to the higher ethical utilitarian- 
ism, or "pragmatism," as the philosophical fashion now 
calls it. It sees clearly that biological assimilation is 
the basic principle of national solidarity; that science ap- 
pears to corroborate the findings of common sense when 
it declares against mixture of extremely divergent racial 
types; it sees more or less clearly the correlation and 
interaction between political equality and social equal- 
ity; it hesitates to oppose too vigorously even such a 
base passion as race enmity, to say nothing of race pride, 
because of the evident protective (teleological) function 
of race antipathy. If not that, what, then? it asks. 

Evidently it must be the task of good men everywhere 
to help transmute race enmity into reasonable race 
pride, and the latter into spiritual and practical forms 
of race conscience. How is this to be done? To find 
out we must study long and hard. If it cannot be done, 
separation of the races would appear to be necessary. 

Fear and Anger: "Preternatural Suspicion/' Before 

me €tm of tbt Huecttfon 47 

we can get to the bottom of the Southerner's mind we 
must notice — for that is all we can do in a rapid survey- 
like this — the feeling-tone that accompanies the prevail- - 
ing attitudes above described. There are three funda- 
mental emotions that have to do with social environment : 
anger, fear and love (corresponding to the three atti- 
tudes described above). Translating into the language 
of attitude and prevailing mood, we may call them hate, 
anxiety-obsession and benevolent kindliness. Now, little 
need be said of the third mode of feeling-reaction. Evi- 
dently it is the only one that ou^t to exist in a state 
of enlightened civilization. Nevertheless, it is felt tmi- 
formly by the very few only, and exerts an influence 
in special cases alone and in some degree of silent modi- 
fication and amelioration of the other and stronger pas- 
sions. Anxiety and a kind of vindictive dislike tend 
together to hold the field of race consciousness. Carlyle 
well describes the resultant of these fundamental feeling 
attitudes in his phrase d propos of the French Revolu- 
tion — '"iM-etematural suspicion." AH observers coming 
South detect it in the very mental atmosphere. There 
is an ill-veiled "polite repulsion" toward the Northerner 
come South on observation bent, unless he has creden- 
tials from some Southern high priest of race orthodoxy. 
This last-named fact is suggestive. The combination of 
anxiety and antagonism that I have called suspicion is 
called forth not by the negro alone, not by the Northern 
"philanthropic" attitude alone, but by their combination 
in the historic past and by the possibilities of future force 
bills, cutting down of representation, political appoint- 
ment of negroes, philanthropic efforts in behalf of negro 
ambitions and aspirations, and the like. Preternatural ^ 
suspicion is due to a racking uncertainty about the fu- 
ture, a dread of ill-conceived interference from without, 

48 Hace fl>ttf)otio£p fn tbt %outb 

and a consciousness of apparent inconsistency along with 
a sense of being in the right nevertheless. Was ever 
people so beset? Some one ought to write a book on 
the Dissociation of a Sectional Personality. 

Again the question, IVhat shall we do about it? One 
thing, assuredly — ^we must study the phenomena and 
strive to understand them. 


Can progress and peace be hoped for as permanent 
facts of Southern development, granting that the above 
cursory account be accepted? Are we doing wcill to 
spend millions of dollars on negro education without 
having a reasonable hope that the developmental results 
will make for higher character and truer nationality? 
Shall we deepen the darkness of the situation by sharpen- 
ing the intellect of white and black to the end that they 
may fight one another with a more subtle venom? 
Shall we leave the negro in spiritual slavery and the 
white in rancorous sectionalism and an alienated con- 
science? Shall we forsake the ideals of the New Eng- 
land "friends of human rights" and of Southern chival- 
rous gentlemanliness ? Shall we leave a large and tragic 
human problem to "settle itself" when we have no rea- 
son to hope that it will settle itself aright? Shall we 
close the real "door of hope" in the black brother's face, 
the door of access to a fully developed manhood ? Shall 
we permit our Southern youth of the dominant race to 
grow up arrogant and inhuman despisers of human 
rights and haters of practical democracy and large- 
souled humanitarianism ? 

On all hands it is admitted that nothing can be done 

Cbe CtU£ o( tie IXuetftiotr 49 

ndtbput the .cooper.atioii of .Southern white men. And 
. Xi^^^ men tvill not cooperate until there is some answer 
to the question, Whither are we going? The land, the 
institutions, the traditions arc theirs. They claim their 
heritage and decline to share it with others unless they 
have reason to believe that such sharing will not en- 
danger the material and spiritual weal of their children's 
children. "Solutions" of the negro problem have been 
put forward and are being put forward as theories ; and 
yet we are further from a "solution" than at any time 
during the nation's history. Politicians, preachers, 
philanthropists, educators, historians, the man in the 
street (without considering these classes as mutually 
exclusive) have had their fling. Is it not time that a 
concerted organized, scientific, humanitarian attempt be 
made to study the whole question in all its bearings and 
through the cooperation of all the factors involved? 
Shall we to a great extent take tariff and finance and 
"conservation" and other national questions out of the 
hands of the man in the street, and yet leave a vastly 
more complex and more delicate question to be settled 
or unsettled according to the whims and prejudices, or 
at best the partial insights and halfway investigations, 
f untrained or ill-trained people? 
As soon as the Southern people find that a whole- 
hearted, unprejudiced attempt is being made to study 
the question in all its bearings and with their coopera- 
tion, they will be ready and zvilling to help. As soon as 
a tentative answer to the question, "Whither?" is pro- 
posed, and the Southern people see that what is worth 
while in their contentions is respected and that there will 
be no meddlesome nor doctrinaire interference from the 
outside, they will be willing to bend their energies in the 
direction that points toward peace and hope and safety; 

I hi 

50 Hace fl>rtf)otiO£p in tbt 9outi) 

they will be willing to educate the negroes for the part 
the negroes are to play; they will be willing to revive 
their Christian ethics as applied to the other race. Of 
these results I feel sure from conference with all sorts 
and conditions of men. These Southern people are nor- 
mal Americans. They are reasonable and just. Bu{ 
they want to work toward some definite objective pointy 
and they wish for an open and above-hoard statement 
of the designs and methods and bias of the persons 
undertaking any investigation that may be made. 


This is not the place for an outline of the directions 
wherein a scientific investigation should work. I shall 
furnish later a full report on that subject, if such a 
report be wanted. But it may not be unwise to suggest 
here some method of getting the work organized and 
yStarted. I therefore submit, with much hesitation and 
some perturbation, but sincerely and after a number of 
years of close study of the negro question on the ground 
and with first-hand data, a series of tentative sugges- 
tions — one of many plans that might be outlined. 

I. Let some nation-wide group of leading Southern- 
ers and Northerners of all political and religious types 
select some one man as director who by character, tem- 
perament, training and experience is best fitted to under- 
stand the question, the Southerners, whites and blacks, 
the race question on the Pacific Coast, the Northern 
situation, the national and historical perspective. Let 
this man choose, with the advice and consent of the 
group, a few well-qualified workers to assist him in the 
work of a Steering Committee. This group should 

probably form an association for the study of race 

2. Let this committee, after due conference, call a 
meeting of a selected and closely limited list of promi- 
nent Southerners and others who are well known in 
business (including farming), the professions, public 
life and academic circles, and have some first-hand 
knowledge of the subject. The larger number of those 
invited should come from the Southern and the Pacific 
states. They should represent all phases of attitude on 
the question, including the most radical. Let them be 
sounded personally before being invited officially. 

3. Let the director of the work, as chairman of the 
steering committee, prepare, after conference with his 
colleagues and after the committee has made a tour of 
the Southern states and other parts of the country and 
foreign countries where race questions are pressing, a 
careful statement of the scope of the investigation. In 
that statement let him show the whites that they are 
sympathized with and let him show the colored people 
that their interests will be carefully considered. 

4. When the conference has met, in some convenient 
Southern city, let the chairman read his statement and 
then call on the members alphabetically and by states to 
comment on the paper in a three to five minutes' speech. 
(A syllabus of the statement ought to be sent to the 
members of the conference a suffiicient time before- 
hand.) Let each member of the conference, after he 
has spoken, leave with the secretary of the committee a 
MS. setting forth his views and opinions in full. 

5. Let the committee carefully digest the proceedings 
and the paper and publish a report of the conference and 
also a smaller and popular syllabus of the larger report. 
Let the report be sent to leading men, libraries, etc., in 

52 Race fl>ttf)otiO£p fn tbt %otttb 

this country and elsewhere, and have the syllabus dis- 
tributed very widely through the press and in every 
legitimate way, so as to reach especially the humbler 
classes of the white and the colored populations in this 

6. Let the committee appoint sub-committees to work 
through the ordinary channels of the association or in- 
stitution or bureau, through universities in this country 
and elsewhere, through learned and professional socie- 
ties, etc. Let special investigators be put into the field 
under the direct supervision of the director of the work. 
Let some of the work be done through fellowships in 
universities, especially the better organized Southern uni- 

7. Let the investigators give frequently, at least 
once a quarter, a statement of work done, so that the 
central office can keep in close touch with the whole field. 
(Perhaps the central office might be in one of the border 
Southern cities, such as Memphis, Nashville, Louisville, 
Baltimore or Richmond, or, perhaps in the nation's capi- 

8. Let the director, with the advice and consent of 
the committee or board, issue two bulletins of the work 
at convenient intervals — one a scientific statement of 
the progress of the work, the other a popular statement, 
both to be distributed in the manner described above in 
the case of the report of the conference and the syllabus 
respectively. Let him also issue pamphlets, leaflets, 
cards, questionnaires, and organize correspondence scien- 

9. Some time after the conference of whites there 
ought to be held a conference for colored people only, 
inviting no whites to be present except the members of 
the committee, who should probably all be white, though 

Clie CruE o( ttie Huestfon 53 

some of the cooperating workers should, of course, be 
colored men and women. Let a section of the bureau 
devote itself entirely to work done by negro investi- 

10. From time to time, at fit opportunities and dur- 
ing successive years, call conferences for reports of work 
done, (or the reception of suggestions and criticisms, and 
the tike. 


If it were done, 'twere well 'twere done quickly. This 
statement is often as true for deeds of light as for deeds 
of datlmess. The work itself may have to last many 
years; putting its results into execution, or cooperating 
with those who are getting the machinery of race adjust- 
ment into motion, may take a much longer period than 
the investigation. _£tut we want to allay as soon as pos- 
sible the attitude of suspicion, unrest, anxiety or exasper- 
^ftJonT For a catastrophe may happen at any moment 
There are sinister signs of this. Moreover, at any time 
something may arise in national or sectional politics that 
may make cooperation extremely difficult. As for the 
money needed — there will be no lack of it if our people 
learn to realize the vitalness of this investigation.* 

*!■ it rasb to hope that the much-needed investigation of the 
negro qnestion will begin durii^ the administration of a Southern- 
bora president aided by a Democratic congress ? President Wilson 
baa shown a high quality of courage and patriotism. Will he show 
forth bis leadership by taking the initiative in ridding politics of 
the negro problem? Or will the present auspiciously begun Demo- 
cratic regime timidly dodge this vital question because of its diffi- 
culty and its "intangibleness"? Will the Republicans continue to 
t to th«r national conventions the absurd Southern del^ 


fSiaa SMoHtK^ in tbt %outb 

gations of negro politicians? Will the Progressives, with their 
voluminous program of "reform/' remember that the existence of 
the negro problem is a challenge to the friends of human rights 
everywhere, and is the prime cause of the excessive Democratic 
solidarity of the South? 


(Reprinted from Proceedings of the Department of Superin- 
tendence of the National Education Association, Indianapolis, Ind., 
March, 1910. — ^Topic: The Problem of Environment in Education — 
As the South Sees It.) 

There is only one Southern problem, and it is that 
of environment. For Southern children are the truest of 
Americans by birth and tradition, and therefore, if they 
are being bred in the cult of caste, nurture due to con- 
ditions and not nature due to inheritance must be re- 
sponsible for their apparent departure from the splendid 
type of American democracy. 

But do not suppose that even by implication I am 
condemning my own dear people. Public peace and the 
safety of the state demand that the less-developed race 
( I ) * be subordinate to the more developed, under condi- 
tions as they exist in the South to-day. The caste of the 
kin is the practice of the theory that blood is thicker than 
water; and the Sermon on the Mount cannot invalidate 
God's own law of the survival of the fittest. If these 
widely different races cannot blend their blood — and 
instinct and S£itacc say nay — the only real foundation 
for democracy, equality, actual or potential, does not exist 
and cannot be created. The principles of liberty, equal- 
ity and fraternity are as abstractly true as Newton's 
Laws of Motion (2), but the resistance of race-con- 
sciousness brings about as real a friction as does the 

* Numerals refer to appended comments. 



56 Hace fl>rtf)otio£p in tbt %omt 

resistance of the air in modifying the actions of bodies 
in motion. 

Ihe all-inclusive virtue, love itself, has a biological 
basis, and character values are conditioned by body 
facts (3). Thus it happens that the Southerner's loyalty 
to his race comes of his love of his kind, the kind he 
knows and values. 

But should such conditions exist? Must Southern 
children of the dominant race grow up to scorn and 
despise, or else condescendingly to tolerate, their less 
fortunate fellow creatures? Or shall we legitimate lust 
and short-circuit the destiny of a chosen people? South- 
erners understand the apparent cruelty imputed to the 
God of Israel who is represented as commanding the 
extermination of non-assimilable peoples (4). But the 
more refined killing of to-day in the South is not the 
occasional taking of a negro's life, but the impassive and 
relentless murder of a people's hopes. But better this 
than worse that might be. Better twenty years of Eu- 
rope than a cycle of Cathay. Better preternatural sus- 
picion than rearing dusky broods. Sometimes we must 
be cruel would we be kind. 

Only in the kingdom of heaven is there neither mar- 
riage nor giving in marriage. Now, the kingdom has not 
yet come in the South. Therefore, let him that would 
establish any kind of human equality on any basis other 
than that of a biologically based family life give us the 
recipe for life in a vacuum (5). 

Again I ask, Should these things be ? Must the South- 
ern child be compelled to choose between the ideal and 
the real in a world where ideals must be realized in 
accordance with the laws of nature? Will sickly saintli- 
ness bring us salvation? Or must we seek safety in 
racial selfishness? God forbid the answer "Yes" to 

^uDp tbe naeffto SDiUtstionf 57 

either of these last two questions 1 Who shall deliver 
us from the body of this death? (6) 

I dare not hope to put this subject before you sharply 
in a hasty minute or two. But I must make an appeal in 
the name of the righteous God and of bewildered human- 
ity. I ask that you leaders of education think on these 
things in this wise: Let us have this negro question 
studied. We are studying tariffs and the price of beef; 
we become partisans about a pole, intangible and invisible ; 
our scientific expeditions scour land and sea for speci- 
mens of fauna and flora; we discriminate nicely the 
uncertain tints of Mexican Indians; we explore the 
heavens above, the earth beneath, and the waters under 
the earth — all these we do, and much more, without the 
waving of bloody shirts or the planting of party plat- 

Let us take the negro question out of politics, out of 
society, out of popular religious discussion, out of prize- 
fighting — out of all wherein heat doth obtain rather 
than light. 

Let us put the negro question into science, and science 
into the negro question. We have tried all else, and in 
vain. Parties and churches and schools, and philan- 
thropies of all kinds, have brought us not one whit 
nearer a solution. The favorite prescription for a solu- 
tion is education, especially industrial education. And 
yet there are towns where negro artisans are not allowed 
to work, and labor unions in plenty that negroes may not 
enter. Education for what? Are the whites going to 
neglect the training of their children's hands? When 
the grandsons of the former slave-owners are dead, will 
anyone prefer negro labor, skilled or unskiHed, to 
white? (7) 

Can education abolish race-consciousness and repat- 


Race fl)tt|ioDO£9 in tbt 9outii 

tern the convolutions of the brain ? Aye, education may 
solve the race problem and all problems, but when and 
where and howf 

Men and brethren, let us study the race problem. Let 
the study be national and international, for ours is not 
the only problem of race. Let the study be scientific and 
not sentimental ; cooperative and not individualistic ; con- 
tinuous and not scrappy; professional and not dilettante; 
humanitarian and not partisan. (8) 

Let us isolate the surd and square the whole equation 
— ^find a square deal. It is science, and science alone, 
star-eyed science, truth-loving science, spiritually intel- 
lectual science — it is the twentieth century's greatest 
power, the scientific research of to-day, that can prepare 
us for the doing of this nation's greatest duty, the solu- 
tion of this problem, so as to free two unallied peoples 
and make the states of this Union United States indeed 
and in truth ! 



I.* "Less developed," not "lower." All admit the 
accuracy of the former term, without determining 
whether the negro's possibilities are limited. The term 
"lower" unfairly closes the question, at least in the popu- 
lar mind, for it has acquired a static, fatalistic conno- 

Negro "equality" in the South depends on the feasibil- 
ity of a parallel civilization: — racial representation in 
legislature and congress (as in New Zealand) ; negro 
industrial organization (as at Mound Bayou, Miss.); 
cooperatively managed places of amusement for the 
negroes (as in Memphis) ; negro libraries (as in Louis- 
ville) ; and the like. These things are needed whether 
the negro "goes" or "stays." This "equality" does not 
presuppose social intermingling with whites, but, rather, 
as complete as possible segregation of the negroes. 

2. The average Northerner thinks that Southerners 
do not believe in the "rights of man." Southerners re- 
sent the imputation, but cannot explain the apparent 
anomaly of their actual conduct, and hence reply with a 
tu quo que or a charge of pharisaism. The trouble with 
radical Southerners is not their insistence on white 
supremacy, but their satisfaction at the prospect of per- 
manent subordination of the negroes to the whites, with- 
out regard to the possibility of colonizing the negroes or 
of securing their segr^ation in some other way. 

^Ntiincrab refer to text of above speech. 


6o Bate fl)tt{)0D0£p in tbt ftoutti 

3. The most exalted romantic and chivalrous love 
can be completely inhibited by physical mutilation. Yet 
love is not merely physical. Likewise humanitarianism 
is not mere physical kinship, but nevertheless has a neces- 
sary, though often disavowed, biological basis. 

4. New Testament morality is historically and prac- 
tically meaningless without an Old Testament basis. 
Under Old Testament conditions (largely existing in 
the South), Old Testament morality is more or less 
appropriate and inevitable. 

Don't criticize human nature and its protective biologi- 
cal creed; but change the abnormal situation in such a 
way as will respect natural law as well as moral law. 
God still winks at the hardness of men's hearts, when 
such hardness has a providential value. Matthew Ar- 
nold's "Might till right is ready" is the working creed 
of the conscientious Southerner. But when and how , 
shall right be got ready? Interestingly enough, the ^ 
phrase "impassive and relentless murder of a people's 
hopes" has not yet met with criticism from white South- 
erners. In their heart of hearts they know that the 
expression is true, and this knowledge hurts their con- 
sciences. The present status is just the white South- 
erner's choice of evils. In the recesses of their hearts 
Southern men are crying out : "Give us a better chance 
to choose. Do not make the alternatives so cruel; we 
choose the lesser evil, but we know that it is evil. Prove 
to us that real citizenship is not based on the family 
life, which in turn has a biological basis, show us that 
the negro can be assimilated on a non-biological basis, 
and we may ameliorate the negro's pains, even though 
we can't cure them." 

In the matter of the franchise, the South first des- 
perately intimidated the negro; then systematically 

Comment on SnDfan^olfiS IDisttawicn 61 

cheated him without semblance of law ; then cheated him 
legally ; and now defrauds him of his political rights in 
a duly constitutional fashion with the consent if not the 
aid of the United States Supreme Court. What next? 
Well, self-sophistication may become even more refined. 
There is a movement on foot to educate negroes only 
with taxes that negroes pay. Southern legislatures would 
perhaps in some cases enact this scheme into law — 
indeed, Vardaman was elected governor of Mississippi 
on this platform. But the lawyers declare the plan 
to be unconstitutional. South Carolina has a "better" 
plan. When whites want an extra tax for a certain 
school district they vote the tax and specify the school 
for which the tax is to be voted. Now, in practice this 
generally means that the special taxes are voted for the 
white schools only. I give this illustration to show how 
an impossible situation leads fatally to the failure of 
"democracy" and to tinkering with conscience. Scone 
white men seem to think that lunatics, imbeciles, children 
and negroes have rights as human beings but not as 
citizens. And they resent the very thought that "nig- 
gers" should get the same public benefits as fall to the 
share of "our own blue-eyed Anglo-Saxon children." 

Does all this mean that Southerners are conscience- 
less? No; it simply means that healthy morality can 
function only under certain normal conditions. And 
these do not exist in the South. 

Now, if some workable solution of the negro problem 
should come into view, various temporary adjustments, 
such as racial representation and the like, would most 
probably not be resented by the South. But the present 
suppression of the negro will continue so long as he is 
supposed to be infected with the microbe of social equal- 
ity or any other "equality that is associated with pos- 


62 Bate fl>ttt)0D0£p fit tbt ftoutii 

sible social equality — ^and which is not? No kind of 
alleged equality is worth anything to a man if his chil- 
dren's children are to rank as social outcasts in the eyes 
of the "desirable" people, the whites, ftominent negrojCis 
say that they do not desire social equality. What they 
mean IS this: We do not ask for ^ocia/ intermingling 
under present conditions. If negro leaders will assert 
that they do not believe that social communion between 
the races ought to be feasible in the remote future, I 
for one shall not be able to respect them. These lead- 
ers probably believe that all the equalities, beginning 
with unsuppressed suffrage, will "come in time," when 
the negro has become rich and refined and educated. 
The masses of the whites probably believe that such an 
outcome is possible, and hence want the negro to remain 
poor and coarse and uneducated— *"a genuyne nigger/' 
who "knows his place." Senator Tillman probably rep- 
resents the opinion of many thousands when he says 
that but for the anti-amalgamation laws not a few 
whites would be glad to marry rich negresses. The 
social taboo is largely conventional. Untrained children 
do not recognize it, but soon "catch it" from their eld- 
ers. I have seen white men evidently enjoying the 
society of negroes, but becoming shamefaced when de- 
tected. There are other evidences that human sociality 
on its lower and more animal side is not very discriminat- 
ing. And these patent evidences are known to all men.* 
5. As I have already mdicated, the Southerner's in- 
stinctive feeling that sociality, actual or potential, is the 
basis of all the equalities — this subconscious feeling, I 
say, is the crux of the whole question. 

*I regret that I must use the word "probably" so often. Such 
caution, however, seems necessary if one desires to keep close to 
facts and to eschew dogmatic prejudice. 

Comment on ]nDianapoH0 Df0cu00fon 63 

Potential equality is of the essence of democracy. 
Extirpate "race prejudice" in a democracy and social 
communion and intermarriage are bound to follow. One 
of the reasons why Northerners fail to understand this 
is their aesthetic antipathy to the negro. Most South- 
erners like individual negroes that "keep their place" — 
and I daresay that the negroes, like all more or less primi- 
tive folk, are likable. The Northerner is protected from 
social communion and intermarriage by his feelings ; the 
Southerner is protected by what he calls his principles — 
the superiority of the whites, and the like. I am speak- 
ing here only in a general way. Many Southerners — 
and their number is increasing— detest negroes; not a 
few Northerners like negroes. The present writer is 
consciously both Northern and Southern in his attitude. 
At times the Northern ingredient is strongest; at times 
the Southern. But both are usually swallowed up by 
the sense of pity — ^pity for both races put in such sorry 
plight. O the pity of it that "lesser breeds without the 
law" cannot take the kingdom of civilization by vio- 
lence; but far greater pity if they could! Juridical and 
ethical abstractions hold absolutely only in a realm of 
pure bodiless spirits. Given humanity, as we find it — a 
sinful incarnation — ^we shall still find the Israelites tend- 
ing to exterminate the Canaanites, or else to enslave 
them. Jefferson, De Tocqueville and Lincoln believed 
that the two races could not live together on terms of 
equality. Were they wrong? Has recent history made 
against their doctrines? Let patient research decide on 
the preponderance of probabilities. If the races can get 
along together, let us find out how the thing can be 
done without ultimate amalgamation, without unjust 
subordination for worthy negro individuals, and without 

64 Bate fl)ttt)0D0£p in tbt ftoutfi 

keeping the South far in the rear of the world's best 

6. The alternatives are here rather brutally pre- 
sented. But I confess to an abhorrence of the idea of a 
Chosen People lagging behind the best that is simply out 
of pure altruism — saintly this, but sickly, yes, suicidal 
(with apologies for the spontaneous alliteration). Now, 
self-sacrifice that is demanded by developed conscience 
and God's providence is a sublime and perfect thing. 
But useless, foolish, quixotic self-sacrifice — call it what 
you please — is simply provocative of the laughter of 
demons. Jesus Christ begged that the cup might pass 
from Him. With great agony He drank it, because the 
drinking was necessary to God's plans and man's salva- 
tion. But He did not ask to be damned for His people's 
sake. On the contrary, He looked for a resurrection. 
There was a glorious end to be attained. But shall we 
say that Dr. Edgar Gardner Murphy's second-best civili- 
zation plan is the necessary, the only possible moral 
course? If so, let's adopt it. But let's make sure that it 
is necessary before we resign ourselves to the prospect of 
an extremely altruistic but hopelessly limping civiliza- 

On the other hand, how can a true man accept the 
maxim: Each one for himself and the devil take the 
hindmost? By all means let us help the Brother in 
Black — ^may God bless him, for he is a child of God! 
But shall we help him at the expense of our children and 
future generations ? God forbid. Aye, He will forbid. 
Racial selfishness is perniciously bad ; healthy racial ego- 
ism is sane and decidedly necessary. Altruism and ego- 
ism work together like the two hands. But be ye sure, 
O ye believers in abstractions, that the meek who shall 
inherit the earth are strong and sturdy meek whose self- 

Comment on InDianapoUiet Dijetcujetietion 6$ 

respect is ultimately respect for God and whose love for 
neighbors is measured in terms of this heightened self- 

7. "Education for what?" I speak of facts, real 
conditions, as they exist, say, in Mississippi and Ten- 
nessee. Education means soul expansion. How can a 
soul expand in prison walls? How can a dignified hu- 
man soul acquiesce in any kind of ostracism? The 
negro who shows his manliness in protest gets himself 
hated. But to me DuBois is ideally truer than Washing- 
ton — ^the latter is "wiser" than the former. Shall truth 
and wisdom tell different tales? Can any good come 
of it? 

8. Better no attempt at systematic investigation than 
to start one that fails to be national and international, 
scientific, cooperative, etc. 


(This paper, which may he regarded as fanciful hy some, was 
written shortly after the writer had held a conference with the 
white school principals of the Memphis schools on one day, and 
had then called the negro principals together on the following 
day. Neither meeting discussed the race question in any way. But 
the author knew the feelings and opinions of both sets of principals, 
felt strongly the tragedy of the situation, and was yet fully aware 
of the general apathy of the whole country with regard to a de- 
cisive settlement of the race question. It may be that the emo- 
tional form of the essay will have some value to some minds. In- 
deed, it may have a message even to the hard-headed practical man 
whose soul is big enough to receive it!) 

*'Their angels do always behold the face of the Father." 

Angel of the negro race speaks : 

"They say — do the Aryan followers of Jesus, the 
Semite— diat the negro peoples are the child-race of the 
world. If their word be aught more than soimd, let 
mine be listened to, for children grow up in the fulness 
of time, and I am the voice of the negro race speaking 
Caucasian language, the language of the adult races. 
Listen, then, O strong men of the earth, to the sacred 
voice of the Child I 

"I have no history. I have no coimtry. I use bor- 
rowed flags and borrowed languages and borrowed re- 
ligions. My own languages and religions are the wails 
of infants crying in the night Do I wish to make my 


needs articulately known, I must essay to use adult 
words of the great powers. Forgive me if my lan- 
guage seem only childish prattle. 

"Some speak contemptuously and others pessimis- 
tically about my hope of growing up, because during the 
long ages of my existence I have not reached man's 
stature. Others believe that my blood enters somewhat 
into the make-up of that great Mediterranean race which 
conquered the world through culture and law and arms, 
and established western civilization. But I am making 
no speculative claims; howbeit I might be permitted to 
develop for a few centuries under favorable circum- 
stances before final judgment is passed on my possi- 
bilities of adultship. The Teutons were quite childish 
two thousand years ago, and had to borrow religion, 
arts and almost everjrthing else of cultural value from 
the Mediterranean peoples. 

"This is an age when men talk greatly of evolution, 
of natural and artificial selection, of the imperceptibly 
slow processes of nature, of use and disuse of the brain, 
of the effects of environment on the speed of change, 
of the apparent arbitrariness of spontaneous variations. 
Give me time, without coddling and without intimidation. 
Then, if I fail to grow to man's estate, let me die the 
death of a child whose guardians have done the best 
they could for him. It may be that Nature has cruelly 
caused premature closing of my skull sutures, sind that 
such a condition will always obtain. But men of science 
have not yet killed my hopes by fastening this accusa- 
tion on Nature. It may be that what has not yet been 
done can never be done, and that my development is 
doomed to arrest because I have thus far failed to grow 
as fast as some other races. But philosophy has not 
yet declared that what has not yet been can never be. 

68 Race fl)tt|ioDO£9 in tbt %outb 

Nor have European Teutons undergone their compara- 
tively late development in the jungles of torrid Africa 
as my people have. Even my deficient brain weight 
does not unduly distress me when I realize that my brain 
is that of a man, not that of an ape, and that my associa- 
tion centers have hardly had sufficient opportunity for 
growth. Men of science tell me, indeed, that the brain 
may yet prove itself to be the most plastic organ in the 
body, as it is undoubtedly the educable organ. 

"Remember, too, O Caucasian, that there is an educa- 
tion in social and political life; that there is education 
in racial self-respect, in hope, in the encouragement of 
one's fellowman. Shall we not have such education 
somehow, somewhere? Do not quench the smoking 
flax, most Christian Caucasians. I have looked the 
white man in the face and lived. Give me credit for 
ability to survive, and help me rather than discourage 
me. You are not afraid of my competition and you 
can take no pleasure in depriving me of hope; therefore 
give me a chance, give me a trial, give me time and 
space, faith and hope, as my allies. 

"My achievements under tutelage during slavery and 
freedom have been exaggerated by some and underrated 
by others. So it is always with children's performances. 
I am, however, hopeful, for my Heavenly Father's face 
is still lovely to look upon. 

"America, you have partially adopted an orphan child. 
Will you educate it? Will you give it a start in life, 
or will you use it only as a drudge in your service? 
Will you equip it well and send it to seek its fortunes, 
or will you adopt it fully into your family? Will you 
at least make up your mind what you are going to do 
with this orphan, which is now old enough to take an 
active interest in its own welfare? 

iFu0e, iFigiit ot iFaiU 69 

'^Don't call me a child and yet expect from me the 
morality and mentality of a man. Don't say that I am 
a problem because I am a man, and then act as if you 
destined me to serve your interests rather than my own. 
Don't blame me for my backwardness and then begrudge 
any forward movement in my behalf. Don't leave me 
to be the prey of undiscriminating doctrinaires on the 
one hand and of self-deceiving exploiters on the other. 

'*Am I a human being? Then treat me as such. Are 
democratic and Christian doctrines true for all men? 
Then have them apply to me. Ought every child to be 
educated for its own sake and up to the limit of its 
powers? Then give me such an education. 

'T do not ask that manhood's rights be given to me 
while in child's estate. But assure me, white friend, that 
my manhood is to he complete and free. 

'*You admit that I am not your property but your 
charge. Then help to free my mind from ignorance, my 
hand from sloth and awkwardness, my soul from super- 
stition and cringing acquiescence in 'my fate.' Remem- 
ber your own childhood. Forget not your Declaration of 
Independence. Be mindful of your Christ's commands. 
Those who are meek and patient enough to eat the 
crumbs that fall from the master's table ought some time, 
somehow, somewhere gain a child's portion. If I cannot 
be Isaac, let me at least be a better-cared-for Ishmael. 
If you send me away, let the protecting, self-sacrificing 
generosity of a mother spirit go with me. 

"But why should I go? True, I am only a waif. 
But here was I bom. This is all the native land that 
I have. Why am I an alien in this land of my birth? 
Why am I not part of the community? Why is it that 
in your heart of hearts you have solemnly sworn that 
I shall not be a complete citizen ? Why do you begrudge 

70 Bate fl)ttt)oDo£p fit tbt %outb 

me an education, and are willing that some of your 
children should remain uneducated rather than that I 
should be compelled to go to school? 

"May I be allowed to study the workings of the 
white man's mind? May I try to understand why you 
will not permit me to attain unto full-orbed manhood? 
Let me confess that I desire nothing less than complete 
personality and citizenship. I do not seek "social equal- 
ity" if by that expression you mean social mingling with 
the whites. I do not ask to exercise all of my rights 
under the law of the land and the moral law, but 
rather I want the assurance that all of manhood's rights 
will come to me in time, as I prove myself worthy. 

"To deny natural inequality would be false and futile. 
But should human beings be treated as representatives 
of a race rather than as free, self-respecting persons? 
And should a child race be forbidden to grow up just 
because it has had a retarded development, or because of 
the exigencies of the white man's labor market?" 


It is not meet that the children's bread should be given 

unto dogs." 

The spirit of the white race answers : 

"Brother in Black, your speech is reasonable from 
your point of view, but I doubt whether you can under- 
stand the Southern white man's mind, seeing that his 
Northern brother often fails to get into touch with it. 
However, a child's questions should be heeded, and 
answered as fully as possible, provided they be respect- 
ful and earnest, as yours undoubtedly are. 

"First of all, as to social eqtiality. You say that you 
do not seek it By this you mean only that self-respect 
forbids your seeking to associate with those who do not 
want your company. But if your doctrine of the worth 
of indwiduals be true, you have a right to potential 
social equality at least. Of what avail is it for us to 
admit your abstract right when you can never exercise 
it in this white man's land? 

"Two of your foremost men, Professor Kelly Miller 
and Dr. DuBois, see clearly that social equality is the 
basis of all equality. Indeed, the "pursuit of happi- 
ness" implies it, and with it the right to intermarriage. 
The Roman plebeians got no real rights, became citizens 
in no real sense, until they secured the right to inter- 
marry with patricians. The Saxons became true citi- 
zens after the Norman conquest of England only 
through intermarriage. White foreigners in America 
become truly assimilated only through intermarriage. 
Your people instinctively feel that the suffrage in some 
sense constitutes citizenship, and citizenship means, and 
must mean, membership in the nation — those born of the 
same stock, or potentially able to be grafted into it 
By psychological and historical association citizenship 
means national homogeneity. A nation ought to be 
made up of citizens only. We discourage your civic 
claims because they have no natural significance apart 
from their implications of social "rights," the exercise 
of which we cannot grant you. 

"Some of your people have learned to think of the 
state as a product of 'contract' ; however that may be, a 
national contract can obtain permanency only through 
national status, the actual or the potential status of kin- 
ship. People are fused into nationality. Jarring races 
do not constitute a real community. And yet you talk 


72 laace fl)ttt)ODO£p in tbt %ottib 

about 'individuals.' There are no isolated individuals. 
One's true personality is social to the core. Nations are 
made up of homes. Commnaity of interest, without 
which a people cannot form a nation, is a phantasm of 
the imagination if it do not imply the intercommunion 
of homes. Indeed, politics, religion, art, business, edu- 
cation — ^all imply and presuppose sociality. Conscience 
itself is only secondarily individual and intellectual. It 
is primarily social. The church festival and the political 
celebration ought to teach you the essential sociality df 
all forms of national life. Because of her belief in the 
family as a sacred institution and her unwillingness to 
accept the mere 'contract' theory of nationality, the 
South is truer to nature, history and Holy Writ than 
are some other parts of the Union. 

"We are emphatically 'members one of another.' 
Politics and religion of certain forms notoriously tend 
to 'run in families.' And with reason. Other things 
being equal, a man ought to vote and pray in spiritual 
union with his ancestors. The Jajauese understand this. 
Your people do also, and vote the Republican ticket — 
when they do vote — ^because their 'folks' do so and have 
always done so. Occasionally one finds a 'Democratic' 
negro family or a 'Republican' white family in the 'or- 
thodox' South. Now, I do not claim that political equal- 
ity logically presupposes potential social equality, but it 
biologically and psychologically presupposes it Demo- 
crats do not always marry Democrats, nor do Baptists 
always marry Baptists — but they tend to do so, for 
biologically — ^and psychologically — ^based reasons. 

"When you seek for any 'equality,' come out like a 
man and ask, not for present social communion but for 
potential social equality. Nothmg less than this will 
bring your race to manhood's estate. And realize, please. 

Sfwe, iri0iit ot iPail/ 73 

that, while we do not deny your claim of abstract rights, 
we cannot allow the exercise of them in the midst of a 
white population. 

'^Leaving aside the Southern white man's apparently 
unconquerable distaste for racially mixed marriages, let 
us inquire whether such intermarriage is advisable, even 
were it allowable and feasible— and it is neither. If 
science could tell us that the amalgamation of the races 
would produce good results for this nation, and we 
should be willing to hearken unto her voice, in the course 
of a century 'prejudice' might be overcome and amalga- 
maticm might result There is always such a biological 
tendency among the lowest classes of both races, and the 
doctrine of %dividuality^ might in time bring it about 
in the upper classes. But science seems to advise against 
such an experiment. So we need not discuss the 'fusion' 
member of our three alternatives : Fusion, fight, or fail- 
ure—even if our race feeling could be blotted out. 

"Nor do conscientious Southerners want the negro 
race to fail. We wish you well. Brother in Black — 
provided you keep in your place. What is your ultimate 
place? That remains to be found out Your place now 
is that of a subordinate race. Whether your 'place' will 
change in time, or in space, or in both, or in some other 
way, no one can tell. We only know that so long as 
the two races live together the whites will rule and negro 
individuals must accept the stigma of representative in- 

''You ought to have the fullest opportunity for devel- 
opment You ought not to be exploited by the whites. 
There is no place for a peasantry in America. You 
should not be subjected to scorn and hate, nor even to 
condescending pity. To have you American negroes fail 
as a pec^le would be a tragedy m this day of democratic 


74 lElace fl)tti)0D0£p in tbt %ottih 

and Christian enlightenment It may be necessary to 
find you a land of your own and found for you a state 
that will give you full freedom, 

"But enlightened Southerners do not want to deceive 
you or have you deceived by letting you remain in a 
fools' paradise. You don't belong to the kin. You 
cannot be assimilated. And unless you are assimilated 
you will constitute a nidus for disease in the body politic. 
Indeed, such is the case now. Your physical presence 
retards the growth and nationalization of the South. 
You are farther from assimilation to-day than you were 
in 1870. And yet as Christian democrats we would not 
have you fail as a people. 

"If fusion is impossible and failure too painful to 
contemplate, how about the third alternative — ^fight? 

"Now I would not have you suppose that I am urging 
you to contend with arms for your rights. By 'fight' I 
mean civilized, useful, rational warfare with the arms 
of the mind and the spirit. 

"Fight! I say. And keep up the fight without ceas- 
ing. How? Not by agitating for your 'rights,' nor by 
alternately blessing and cursing a Roosevelt or a Taft, 
nor by waiting for the 'problem' to 'settle itself by 'in- 
dustrial education' — but by binding yourselves together, 
asking your Southern friends to help you, and insisting 
modestly but with steadfast determination that the race 
question in America be scientifically investigated. Think 
of the splendid scientific agencies in this country and 
wonder at the small amount of real study that has been 
given to a problem graver than war and pestilence! 
Race enmity is worse than the hookworm, for it stunts 
the generous soul of the chivalrous Southerner. 

"Will the people of this country wait for more 
troubles from the Atlantas, the Wilmingtons and the 

^we, iri0i)t ot iPail/ 75 

Springfields ? Do they want to keep the South spiritu- 
ally out of the Union, or to have the spirit of racial 
malignancy overshadow the Union? Are they going to 
desert you people, after opening to you various illusory 
doors of hope? Lincoln could as truly say to-day as he 
said fifty years ago that no nation can permanently re- 
main half-slave and half-free. Your people are more or 
less free in body — free to wander and to drift — ^but their 
minds and souls are enslaved by the blighting 'check' 
of subordination ; and the spirits of my people, a sacred 
nation, are enslaved by apprehension, enslaved by self- 
protective bourbonism, enslaved by your consciousness 
of political futility and stigmatised individuality. 

"Why am I so insistent ? Because I am the true spirit 
of the white man of the South, and I want you people 
to be free — for your own sake and especially for the sake 
of my own people. 

"No man can predict what the end will be. But 
nowada}rs science does what she can to furnish the true 
prophets material wherewith to work. Let us no longer 
try merely to patch up the civic health of the South with 
educational and other tonics. 

"Let us have more light and less heat We cannot 
have peace until we have light 

'^Lincoln, Jefferson and De Tocqueville are names 
great enough to arrest our tongues when we begin to 
cry 'absurd,' 'impossible/ whenever a radical settlement, 
colonization, is hinted at. Suppose such a settlement to 
be the only certain one. Would it not be the part of 
wisdom to get ready for it now? And if such a thor- 
oughgoing settlement be shown to be unnecessary or 
impracticable, would it not be well to steer our policy 
in regard to this question, rather than to let it drift? 





Race S>ttbiinos9 in tbt %outh 

"li foresight is the characteristic of the civilized man 
and science the glory of our age, should we not call our 
science to help us secure foresight and end this present- 
day blind policy of drifting?" 


(Substance of lecture given at Mississippi College, Qinton, 

Thorcau says that sauntering means "Holy Land-ing/' 
or else "without a land." Yesterday I got a new mean- 
ing for this suggestion of the great walking philosopher 
of the woods. I found that Mississippi is a sort of 
"holy land" for whites, and that the Mississippi negro 
is "without a land." I was storing up strength while 
the beautiful autumn lasted— strength of body and in- 
spiration that nature, wild nature alone, can give. 
Avoiding the places where men do congregate, I joyftilly 
sauntered, pursuing the trail that wobbled along mis- 
cellaneously with an occasional pretense of being a road. 
Breasting a little hill, I heard the sound of wailing, and 
soon perceived that a ten-year-old boy was "minding" 
his baby sister by teasing and bullying her. No adult 
person was near; the house seemed to be shut up. I 
need hardly tell you that the children were negroes and 
that the older members of the family were picking cot- 
ton in the field. The house was more or less a habita- 
tion, but could hardly be called a home. I do not think 
that a movement to provide care for that nq^ baby 
while its mother was away would prove popular. Was 
there not an older brother to tend baby? School age? 
Yes, but what of that — ^he is "only a nigger," and "nig- 
ger schools don't amount to anything anyhow— educat- 
ing ^ nigger spoils a good field hand." This would be 



78 laace S>ttbornts9 in tbt doutd 

said in spite of the fact that there was an industrial 
school for negroes near by with a handful of pupils^ the 
scanty remnant of a flourishing school that has had 
thirty years of devoted history, and the result of a 
Christian white woman's sense of responsibility for do- 
ing something that would help to uplift the negro. The 
school lacked pupils, and all around were pupils that 
lacked a school. But why should the negro mother have 
her ten-year-old boy go to school? Education equalizes, 
and the whites won't have anything that appears to 
equalize the races. After the cotton is picked, however, 
that negro mother will send her boy to school, because 
she believes that education will do something, she knows 
not what, for him. Sometimes she may think that study- 
ing books will help to free him from excessive hard 
labor such as she must perform; but for the most part 
she has a dim feeling that htmian beings are to be edu- 
cated, and that her child is a human being and hence 
needs education. Even horses and dogs need training. 
If she were told that training behind a plow was all that 
her boy needed, she might reply that educated negroes 
get along better, are less likely to be criminal, and are 
more respected by their kind. Naturally, she wants her 
child to have these advantages. If she is mistaken in 
thinking that school will help her boy, it would be merci- 
ful to tell her so; and if the average white man thinks 
that education will "spoil" that boy, his allegation ought 
to be investigated, for surely he does not regard a human 
being simply as a domestic animal without a soul. 

But let us suppose that the negro child is to be edu- 
cated; then how much education does he get, and of 
what kind? If he goes to the public school he may 
reach the fourth grade. His teacher is unskilled and 
imlettered. He has no money wherewith to buy the 

€ht l^ome anD tbt l^aiiftation 79 

school books he needs at first. His six months of school- 
ing during the year are divided into two periods with 
several months between them. Is it surprising that the 
"literate" negroes that come from such schools are as 
likely to go to jail as are negroes that have not had 
these stupendous "advantages"? If he should get an 
education that would teach him good habits as well as 
reading, writing and ciphering, and should become a 
skilled laborer, does he not cease to become a field hand, 
and thus complicate the labor problem, and at the same 
time enter into competition with the superior white race ? 

Granted that he will find work for some years to 
come, is there any indication that the white boys of the 
South are going to turn over the skilled trades to the 
negro? And does the labor union situation at the North 
encourage the negro to hope for good things in that 
direction? In a town to the south of this coll^[e town 
negroes are not allowed to work as carpenters and brick- 
layers. In a community to the north all negroes have 
been driven out. In a large town to the west all negroes 
not definitely at work are arrested because some one has 
shot at a street car conductor. (This application of the 
"vagrancy law" would scarcely be tolerated if white 
visitors should be arrested as vagrants.) To the east 
of this place a white man who mutilated a negro girl 
has escaped justice without any serious trouble in so 

Will education help such conditions? Only on con- 
dition that the educated negroes have more white friends 
than the uneducated ones possess. But the negro mother 
has a suspicion that perfectly illiterate negroes are more 
helpless than even partially educated ones. If she is 
wrong it would be a pity not to tell her so. If she is 
wrong we should be able to find out the truth, and then 


80 laace jDttiioDO£i> in tbt doutd 

to ask ourselves the question, why should education be 
good for all other races but bad for the negro? And 
should we decide that the white man's temporary labor 
advantage ought to be the test of the advisability of 
educating the negro or else of leaving him in absolute 
intellectual darkness, so that he cannot even read his 
Bible or sign his name to a law paper? Knowing, as 
we do, if we know anything at all of the white people 
of this part of the country, that there are no people on 
earth more really religious and more tender-hearted and 
chivalrous, would it not be well to find out why good 
people seem to be so ruthless in "keeping the negro 
down"? But let us return to our sauntering walk. 

The house on the right of the rambling road gives 
us painful thoughts, for it is not a home and hardly 
hopes to be one. How is it with the house on the other 
side of the road and a rod or two further on? It too 
seems to be poverty stricken. But it is a home. The 
mother is there. True, she is working harder than does 
the woman in the cotton patch. True, she herself woiics 
at cotton picking in a pinch. What, then, is her advan- 
tage? She is working for her children at home, and 
her children are attending a good school taught by com- 
petent teachers, and enjoying opportunities that promise 
illimitable possibilities. There is no bar to her children's 
hopes. Her boy may be president; her girl may be the 
wife of a senator, or something much better. Humble 
as her family may be, nothing stands in the way of their 
rising in the social scale through their own exertions by 
the grace of God. Her children will be vouchsafed all 
dvil rights and due protection of laws. She and hers 
are the heirs of all the ages and need only to take their 
own. Not only do her children get education in school, 
but also in church, at home, and through participation in 

Ciie l^ome anD t)ie l^aiiitation si 

all the free institutions of a free and freedom-loving 
state and country. 

Now comes the philanthropic friend of abstract human 
rights and tells us that these violent contrasts between 
the rights and opportunities of the two races should not 
exist. He asks the question: Do you believe it right 
or expedient to let the lazy and immoral white man 
believe himself to be better than the thrifty and moral 
negro? Do you think that the doctrine of a protective 
tariff should be extended to human rights, so that the 
negro is given a handicap and the white man a bounty? 

Well, things htiman are never as simple as they seem. 
The mother of a weak and inefficient child might con- 
ceivably say to herself, "Why should I waste love and 
care on my weakling? Why not let the doctrine of 
nattu-al selection and survival of the fittest obtain?" I 
need not say that she asks no such question and has no 
such thought. Just because her offspring is weak and 
inefficient, she lavishes on it all the wealth of mother- 
love, and stands like a lioness to defend the "unfit" 
child. Let the friends of abstract htmian rights use 
any argument they will at the South except that which 
would indicate a willingness to allow any negro to 
triumph over any white man I The solidarity of race is 
ours, is a part of our religion. We will do all we can 
to make our weaklings efficient; but we shall continue 
to love them and care for them and protect them even 
from their own foolishness. We are the people, even 
though we know that wisdom shall not die with us. 
Every white man is our brother in a sense whereof the 
negro can never know. The South fought for the 
principle that patriotism begins with the blood kin; nor 
could the arbitrament of arms change that principle in 
any respect. From the known to the unknown, from 

82 Eace fDtti)0D0£i> in tbt 9outti 

the concrete to the abstract, from the home to the nation, 
from the fact to the possibility — ^these are Southern 
slogans, and they ought to be rallying cries for all men 
who believe in the principle that, if we love not our 
brother whom we have seen, how can we love aliens 
that we cannot assimilate? 

We are willing for the negro to come into his own, 
but not at the expense of white solidarity and white 
supremacy; nor even though the whole negro race were 
helped by the shaming of a few white individuals. Na- 
ture has selected us, God has made us a chosen people ; 
we therefore take care of our own, and all of them. 
When philanthropists insist on lifting the negro up, we 
feel justified in saying that the white race must be lifted 
up correspondingly. 

The abstract philanthropist, however, does not under- 
stand this position. He wants to know how it can hap- 
pen that white solidarity or white supremacy can be 
injured by giving negroes the right of citizenship and a 
kind of courtesy that will not lead to social commingling 
of the races. Can we make the world understand our 
Southern position ? For the civilized nations are asking 
the question put forth by the philanthropist Our answer 
must ever be that democracy normally means equality; 
that every human institutional promise to pay must have 
a cash value in social opportunity, if these notes are to 
be aught more than the fiat money of philosophical 

Politics means social commingling. Aye, the wise saw, 
"politics makes strange bedfellows," is more than a fig- 
ure of speech. Every barbecue, every political meeting, 
every "dollar dinner," every assertion regarding the 
Declaration of Independence and the Constitution — all 
these things and many more mean at least potential or 

Ctie l^ome anD tiie l^abitatfon 83 

implicit social communion. We are willing to grant 
the abstract dogma that every man's civic rights, and 
hence his social rights, ought to be determined by his 
intrinsic character and real, inner social availability ; but 
social equality in the abstract inevitably leads to the 
assertion of the rights of social communion at some 
time. Hence, although we Southerners appear to be 
contending against the doctrine of abstract social (equal- 
ity, we are really fighting against anything that will lead 
even indirectly to the assertion of the right to social 
commingling between the races. History has shown us, 
through patricians and plebeians, through Saxons and 
Normans, that political and social rights are organically 
connected in such wise that one inevitably tends to beget 
the other. And De Tocqueville, in his great work on 
Democracy in America, has pointed out once for all the 
evident truth that, when all are equally citizens, all tend 
to draw together in every way concerned with mutual 

Citizenship is an empty name unless social communion 
and intermarriage cause that necessary fusion of ele- 
ments without which a democracy cannot persist. The 
behavior of the negroes during reconstruction times is 
still fresh in the minds of all Southerners. The negro 
now "knows his place" tolerably well; and the South 
will do or willingly allow nothing that will tend to make 
the negro think that he is "as good as a white man." 
Individually, and in the eternal vision of God, many 
negroes may be far more valuable as souls than many 
whites; but the blood, the tradition, the territory are 
ours, and a strained and unnatural, halt and blind citi- 
zenship can do nothing for the negro but incite in him 
ambitions that the white folk of the South are not 
willing to tolerate. Show us, say the Southerners, that 


84 Eace fl)tti)0D0£i> in tbt 9outii 

there is no historical and no organic connection between 
the various equalities, but that human life is a set of 
arbitrary, disconnected "equalities," no one of which is 
necessarily connected with another ; show us, too, if any 
assimilation other than that of intermarriage has ever 
welded together diverse peoples ; — show us these things, 
and prove our instinct for solidarity to be but illusory 
moonshine, and we shall consider your arguments for 
the exhibition and functioning of abstract human rights 
on the part of the negro. We don't deny the rights ; we 
insist only that they be held in abeyance because the 
public welfare demands it. And we are primarily the 
public, its welfare is primarily our welfare. 

The negro has become segregated in church, lodge, 
and in all other institutional-social ways. It may be 
possible to segregate him in his political "rights." That 
is a matter for investigation. But he must be treated 
as a race politically as well as in every other social way. 
The very words, patriotism, fatherland, nation, ought to 
show us the social basis, yea, the home basis, of political 
institutions. To empty politics of the social feature 
would be to dehumanize it and render it even more dan- 
gerously machine-like than it often is to-day. Party 
leaders are treated as heroes. When men have heroes 
in common, and work for them, when men have ideals 
in common, and these are connected with their native 
land, how is it possible to allow the notion of mere 
"contract" government to displace entirely the idea of 
htmian status with its rich "fringe" of instinctive social 
relations ? 

The contract idea of the family has already caused 
untold mischief. True, marriage is a contract; but the 
home is also an institution of status. Reform and im- 
prove the status relations, if you please; let conjugal 

Ciie l^ome anD tde l^abftatfon 85 

reciprocity in rights and privileges take the place of 
one-sided rights ; but do nothing to injure the sacredness 
of a status that is founded on imperative instinct and 
hallowed by immemorial custom. So with the state. 
We Democrats do not desire "paternal" government. 
But we do not wish for "machine" government, either. 
If government ever loses its human features and be- 
comes simply a matter of bookkeeping and business, 
men will secJc paternalism because it is at least human 
and founded on instinct. Let the machine features of 
government be efficiently administered on a purely busi- 
ness basis, but forget not that the voter means vastly 
more than a numerical unit, and remember that contract 
can never destroy instinct and hero worship and the 
social values of politics. 

Perhaps the South injects more sociality into its 
politics than the rest of the country does. In the South 
conservative ideas of family life obtain, and the "old- 
fashioned religion" is more popular than elsewhere. 
Rural life and farming undoubtedly help men to asso- 
ciate politics with sociality. Then, too, kinship and the 
call of the blood kin help to keep alive in the South the 
etymological meaning of the word nature. At all events, 
even granting that the South is old-fashioned in viewing 
politics as connected with sociality, our making common 
cause against those who were concerned with negro 
domination during reconstruction times has resulted in 
a growing sense of race solidarity and a feeling that the 
Solid South idea has not only a political but also a racial 
and a social meaning. If the South should become con- 
verted to the notion that some human institutions need 
not in any way be connected with social values, a change 
of attitude might occur with regard to giving the negro 
a chance at the ballot box. Even if such a change should 

86 laace fl)tti)0D0£p in tbt ftoutd 

cope, it would simply indicate that Southerners were 
iraling that the negroes should have political represen- 
tation as a race, and representation that would not inter- 
fere with normal political conditions. 

On my way home from the walk above referred to I 
tnet a little negro child, a mere toddler. He smiled 
benignly and touched my coat in friendly fashion as I 
passed. Pretty soon he will "know better." My own 
child spoke of negro women as **black ladies" when he 
lived in California, where a negro was seldom seen and 
/where it was unnecessary to discuss the negro question. 
' A few months later the little two-year-old had learned 
^ to "discriminate," and had described a negro man at 
the front door as a "nigger," not a "gentleman." Noth- 
ing had been said to him by the adult members of the 
household ; but he had become indoctrinated through the 
very atmosphere of South Carolina social life. 

Both of the above incidents illustrate the evident fact 
that race feeling is not instinctive. If it were a deep- 
seated instinct, much of the Southern guarding of the 
"color line" would appear foolish; but the race feeling 
y is a tradition and a part of religious culture at the South, 
and has hence become a sort of secondary instinct, a 
social custom and habit. 

When I was a child no objection was made when a 
little white child caressed his colored nurse. Nowadays 
the thing is usually discouraged and oftentimes vigor- 
ously prevented. Even the children must not be al- 
lowed to "cross the color line," lest the negroes should 
in some way "presume." Much of the Northern man's 
reluctance to have the negro brought into intimate re- 
lationship with whites as a menial is now felt by many 
Southerners. Is all this simply a kind of cruelty, or is 
it the cruelty of real kindness ? In most cases the latter, 

Clie l^ome anD tbt ^atitatitm 87 

I think. Dear experience has taught the Southerner that 
the negro is best off when he keeps his place in every 
respect The old kindly relationships of slavery at its 
best are now impossible ; the f reedman does not wish the 
privileges of a Newfoundland dog, and the whites ap- 
preciate the patent fact that even the kindlier phenomena 
of slavery are now out of place, and that exhibitions 
of advanced democracy in social matters had better be 
reserved altogether for white people as their objects. 

Granted, then, that the racial orthodoxy of the South 
has a meastu'e of rational justification, should we extitt; 
in our position as a dominant race, continue for all time 
to make the negro acutely conscious on all occasions of^. 
his inferiority? Shall we give full rein to arrogance 
and bourbonism? Not so, if our civilization is really 
democratic and humanitarian — ^not to say Christian. Let 
us regard the color line as one drawn by reason and 
conscience, and not by passion and prejudice. If our 
rights and reasonable racial principles tend to be habit- 
ual and instinctive, no harm is done and much good, 
for we need habit and instinct for our everyday conduct. 
But woe to us if we sell our birthright of democracy 
and humaneness for a mess of blind and passionate race 
enmity ! Holding fast to our dogmatic belief in our race 
and its rights, let us not forget God's child-races, and 
their rights, and our duties to them. Let us not flaunt 
our supremacy in their faces. Let us not tell them that 
we want them to exist simply for our own selfish pur- 
poses. Let us hold out to them the hope of ultimate 
full development as a race, though never at our expense. 
Although the white people of this country should never 
consent to have the South's development permanently 
retarded on account of a desire to "give the negro jus- 
tice," there must be some way tmder high heaven 

88 Eace fl)tti)0D0£9 in tbt %otttb 

whereby this conflict of duties can be ameliorated. 
Surely investigation will point out some method by 
which the negroes can get all that freemen should have, 
and yet without any crossing of the color line, without 
any holding out of vain hopes to the negroes that they 
may ultimately break down "race prejudice" among the 

I am a radical Southerner so far as the chief tenet of 
our distinctively Southern faith is concerned ; but I have 
no sympathy with the kind of radicalism that forgets 
its humanity and revels in the thought of permanent 
spiritual slavery for the negroes. Much harm has been 
done to the negro's cause by worthy Northern and South- 
em champions who declaim against the extreme state- 
ment of "southemism" ; for the Southern people have 
developed their "secondary instinct" of raciality so that 
it has become a fine instrument for detecting even the 
subconscious tendency on the part of the negro's special 
advocates to soften in some wise the sharpness of defini- 
tion of the color line. Southern "prejudice" is not mere 
caste feeling, but is race feeling that can give a good 
reason for its existence. The negro is not simply a lower 
class in the community; he is a different race, with all 
grades of character and individual value. It is not ex- 
pedient for us to treat individual negroes as individuals 
/ in any way that even indirectly suggests social recog- 
nition. An illiterate white may well be able to look the 
highest negro in the face and refuse him the slightest 
sign of social recognition such as he would accord a 
white man. Not that he need claim to be the negro's 
personal superior — in the sight of God. But the 
humblest white man is still a Caucasian, though the least 
of Caucasians ; and the noblest negro is still an African 
though he be king of Africans. Only this attitude can 

Ciie l^ome attD tbt l^a&itation 89 

prevent the gradual breaking down of racial distinctions. 
The true Southerner would prefer to put up even with 
hellish exhibitions of race ferocity than do an3rthing to 
break down even the most remote outpost that guards 
the citadel of the elect people of this land. 

Race pride in itself may be nothing worth while, but 
when it guards, however unreasonably in appearance, 
what Southerners believe the manifest will of God that 
the white race retain its leadership and make no pre- 
tense of ever sharing its heritage with any blood too 
alien for assimilation, race pride, yea, even race enmity, 
harsh and cruel as it may become, would appear to be 
the chastening rod of Jehovah that warns the two races 
to remain forever separate. 

p^it—herp is the pfoblem: How to keep the, rarps 
J^pBrff.ff ^"d yi>t tytain thp prartiyp qJ |\merican prin- 

ylplffs tn tVt^ir fiilw^cc in f ^g fi^me territory and under 
the, same institutions, under con ditions of dailv contact 1 
Young men, will you do your part in compelling the 
attention of our people to focus itself on the scientific 
investigation of this most human of practical problems ? 
Let us return now to our first illustrative example of 
home vs. habitation. A home is a state of congenial 
sociality wherein faith and hope and love do dwell. Has 
the negro faith in his past or hope for his future, or 
love for his present condition? The other day I heard 
a white man give the following synopsis of a lecture 
that he was going to deliver to a negro institute: The 
negro is an animal without a history, a man without a 
country, a citizen without the protection of law, a hus- 
band without loyalty, and a father without authority I 
Granted, gladly granted, that many a negro household 
proves this statement to be far from universally true. 
Nevertheless, what is home without hope? And how 

90 Eace fl)rt{)0D0£9 in tbt %otttb 

can a people hope when there are no signs of ultimate 
human freedom for them, freedom of complete spiritual 
manhood and citizenship? A negro was recently asked 
if certain negroes lived in such and such places. In each 
case he said: "He stays there." A home ought to be 
not simply a breeding place of bodies, but the nesting 
place of free souls. Sooner or later the true home spirit 
is lost when the children of the home may not look for- 
ward to complete living and full citizenship. For the 
state and the church and all human institutions are rooted 
and nurtured in the home. If children are bred to 
believe themselves forever subordinate; if they feel them- 
selves to be forever shut out from some of the legiti- 
mate aspirations of free humanity; if the very face of 
Providence is veiled from them because of the accident 
of race; if thrift and culture and good conduct count as 
nothing in the life of the state and the pursuit of happi- 
ness; if, in a word, the future does not lure them on 
to a day of the stmshine of sufficing human oppor- 
tunity — how easily do the most sacred relationships 
come to appear as dull limitations without promise of 
perfection ! How easily does faith shrivel and love pine 
away when the buo3rant presence of hope has departed ! 
Homes without hope? There may have been such in 
the world's history, but they thrive but poorly when this 
day and hour spell opportunity and freedom to the 
favored nations of the favored races, and when every 
normal individual of a favored race may become a com- 
plete individual. 

The presence of the negro may be a black blight on 
the South, but the really deadly blight is in our hearts 
do we content ourselves in this Christian country of 
opportunity with dull and stupid acquiescence in the 

€tft l^ome attD tbt l^a&itation 91 

very existence of unfreedom in our land and at our 

''And now, men and women of America, is this a 
thing to be trifled with, apologized for, and passed over 
in silence ?" 

We white folk must rule in this white man's land,-." 
but how can we rule our own hearts through love to . 
God and man when every circumstance of our daily .' 
lives encourages in us a temper of arrogant overlord- . ' 


(From Neale's Monthly Magazine, November, 1913.) 

The soulful brevity of wit and worth is something 
greatly to be desired in the discussion of the negro 
question. If one have no patent of nobility with re- 
gard to authoritativeness, he may show forth a virtue 
allied to it, — that of straightforward directness, — even 
if he may lack the larger wisdom and the wider wit. If 
the reader will kindly accede to the truth underlying the 
proposition just stated he will perhaps pardon a some- 
what abbreviated presentation of a very large subject. 

The race attitude of the Southern whites is not a 
code of cases but a creed of a people, — a part of their 
morality and of their religion. If this attitude seems 
not to square with the democratic and Christian ethics 
of the world, there is need that it take stock of itself. 
The cocksure arrogance that hugs its provincial self- 
sufficiency and casts sour looks at ethical world stand- 
ards merits the name of foolish Bourbonism, if not a 
worse name. I, for one, hold that the South is com- 
pelled by the logic of events and the conscience of the 
world to explain her attitude to men of good will every- 

Here is the racial creed of the Southern ^ople as 
expressed by a group of representative Southerners dur- 
ing the past few months: 


IRace flDrttioDoxp in tie ftontii 93 

1. "Blood win tdl/' 

2. The white race must dominate. 

3. The Teutonic peoples stand for race purity. 

4. The negro is inferior and will remain so. 

5. "This is a white man's country." 

6. No social equality. 

7. No political equality. 

8. In matters of civil rights and legal adjustments 
give the white man, as opposed to the colored man, the 
benefit of the doubt; and under no circumstances inter- 
fere with the prestige of the white race. 

9. In educational policy let the negro have the crumbs 
that fall from the white man's table. 

10. Let there be such industrial education of the 
negro as will best fit him to serve the white man. 

11. Only Southerners understand the negro question. 

12. Let the South settle the negro question. 

13. The status of peasantry is all the negro may hope 
for, if the races are to live together in peace. 

14. Let the lowest white man count for more than 
the highest negro. 

15. The above statements indicate the leadings of 

This creedal statement is practically the common opin- 
ion of the South, or as near that opinion as I can set it 
down at the present writing. But is it a true orthodoxy, 
a right opinion ? Not in its present shape, though much 
of its underlying meaning is right enough. Let us there- 
fore attempt to restate, in the form of a commentary, 
the cree4 of "Southemism" in a more adequate form, 
in order that it may better give a reason for the faith 
that is in it, and better square itself with the recognized 
standards of American democracy and Christian ethics. 


94 Baa fl)tt()oDo£9 in tht %otttb 


1. "Blood will tell." In this age of interest in 
eugenics, — ^when men are coming to regard the forces 
of heredity as the "capital" of the races, and the forces 
of environment, including education, as racial "income," 
— ^we are not justified in neglecting the paramount im- 
portance of keeping up the physical stock of the higher 
racial types, even if in so doing the less developed races 
may not be favored to the extent of their desires. Judg- 
ing the future by the past, as we must do, we have no 
reason to believe that it will conduce to the ultimate 
welfare of the world if we fail to give sufficient play 
to the forces of selection, be they "natural" or "arti- 
ficial," "biological" or "social." The popular concept 
of the potency of blood and race has sufficient scientific 
warrant for all the practical purposes of political insight 
and foresight. 

2. "The white race must dominate." History tells us 
that the higher civilization of to-day has been wrought 
out by the white race in its various branches. The rapid 
rise in recent times of such a people as the Japanese, — 
due as it tmdoubtedly is to the partial assimilation of 
Caucasian culture by this Asiatic people, — gives us no 
reason to believe that the dominant place in the world's 
life and work will not continue to be held by the white 
race that has made the rise of the Japanese possible. 
Moreover, the Japanese are yet to prove that their recent 
achievements in culture will stand the test of time and 
that their powers of imitation are destined to lead to the 
powers of initiative possessed by the white race. The 
primacy of the white nations need not mean the un- 
ethical exploitation of other races ; but it does mean that 

Eace fDttboHoiev in tbt %Otttb 95 

the ethical stocks which now hold the supremacy are 
not at all likely to yield it, should conflict arise. 

If the white race holds its own there will be no oppor- 
tunity for any other racial type to acquire such power 
and prestige as that now enjoyed by the primary makers 
of the world's civilization. Until another race shows 
its ability to establish a religion, a code of ethics, social 
institutions, forms of government, literature, art, and 
so on, equal to those that have come into being through 
the agency of the white nations, "the white race must 
dominate." If the various races are kept apart geo- 
graphically, there is no reason for supposing that any con- 
flict need arise because of the superior world power pos- 
sessed by the present leading nations of Europe and 

3. "The Teutonic peoples stand for race purity." It 
is likely that the Teutonic stocks are the most dif- 
ferentiated peoples of the white race, and that they pos- 
sess to-day, partly through admixture with other white 
stocks, a commanding position in all the continents, — a 
position from which they are not likely to be dispos- 
sessed. They are the great colonizers and empire build- 
ers. Their influence among all nations is constantly 
increasing. Hence their acute consciousness of race is 
the strongest guarantee that the; Caucasian stocks will 
be kept comparatively pure from admixture with other 
racial types, and that the Teutonic valuation of racial 
pedigree will more and more extend to other peoples of 
the dominant race. Indeed, there are indications that 
the so-called Slavic and Keltic people are following the 
lead of the Teutonic peoples in this matter. Until sci- 
ence advocates the intermixture of primary racial types 
it is not likely that Teutonic ideals of racial purity will 

96 Bate fl)ttiioD(HEp in tbt ftontli 

be overborne. And science shows no tendenqr to advise 
such inter-racial mixture. 

4. "The negro is inferior and will remain so." It 
is generally admitted, even in the most conservative scien- 
tific circles, that the negro race, as a type, is at present 
inferior to the white race. Although some scientific men 
see no reason for doubting the negro's ability to fit him- 
self into the conditions of modem civilization in the 
future, no first-class man of science is rash enough to 
predict that the average of development of the negro 
race in the South will equal that of the white people 
of the South within any assignable period. Nor should 
any "friend of humani^'' wish to see the masses of the 
negro people lifted up at the expense of the white, 
either through the mixture of blood or through educa- 
tional neglect of the whites in favor of the negroes. 
However promising the outlook may be for a small per- 
centage of the negro people, the signs of promise for 
the poorest classes of whites are very much greater ; and 
the Southern people can be trusted to see to it that 
their "submerged tenth" shall have greater opportuni- 
ties for development than any that are likely to be offered 
to the submerged negro nine-tenths. For the low-grade 
white man has the higher potenqr and promise in his 
blood, and furthermore there is a favored race tmder- 
standing implied in the very conditions of the Southern 
situation, by the very nature of the case. 

5. "This is a white man's country," because the white 
man acquired it; made it what it is; contributes eight- 
ninths of the population ; represents a much greater pro- 
portion of the intelligence, wealth, and civilization in 
general; formed a government and developed institu- 
tions for white men, and will not yield one jot or tittle 
of his present advantages. Not only will enlightened 

IRace fl)ttiioDosp in tbt %ontb 97 

sdf-love compel him to hold that which is his, but the 
welfare of the world is better conserved by this coimtry's 
remaining specifically the land of the white man. 

Racial traits always color habits, customs, institutions, 
modes of thought, feeling, and action. But Afro- 
Americanism, no matter what its merits, will not be 
allowed to constitute any discernible part or aspect of 
the spirit of the people of this country. To grant to a 
nonassimilable people, with different mores or racial pe- 
culiarities, privileges that would stimulate them to seek 
for entrance into the psychological and social heritage 
of national temperament and disposition would be to 
love one's alien neighbor better than one's national self, 
— a counsel of perfection put forward neither by sound 
philosophy nor practical religion. To the white first — 
and also to the negro I If the whites prove themselves 
unheeding of the summons to go up higher, then it will 
be time to say, "To the white and the negro equally and 
at the same time." Let the sentimentalist that argues to 
the contrary of this position tell us wherein our view 
conflicts with the enlightened policy of the best peoples 
of the earth. 

Nationality, like marriage, is something more than a 
contract; hence, until the constitution of nature is 
amended through triumphs of national self-sacrificing 
grace as yet imdreamed of even by the saints, "this is 
a white man's country!" This doctrine by no means 
impugns the negro's rights to life, liberty, and the pur- 
suit of happiness ; nor does it condemn him to anything 
less than the freest and fullest spiritual life wherever he 
can assimilate himself to the conditions of his environ- 
ment or can conquer for himself the right of racial 
ascendency. If he can unfurl his flag somewhere and 
truthfully say, "This is a colored man's country!" the 

98 Bate fl)itiioDox9 in tbt %otttb 

Southern white man will wish him success and help him 
to achieve it. But the white man of America wants and 
will have nothing less than white civilization, outside, 
inside, through and through, without in any wise casting 
aspersions on the yellow man's or the black man's merits, 
real or alleged. At bottom this is the white man's con- 
tention in this connection : This is a white man's country, 
because the requisite homogeneity in American civiliza- 
tion cannot be obtained except through intermarriage; 
all other attempts at assimilation are unnattu'al and im- 
historical ; the white man does not believe that the blood 
of the white and that of the negro ought to be mingled, 
for the product is advantageous neither to the white 
man nor to the welfare of the world. Hence all attempts 
to overcome the negro's inferiority, being intrinsically 
abnormal and tmnatural, do not avail. Therefore the 
negro is tmassimilable — and this land must remain a 
white man's country. 

6. "No social equality." Since "social equality" can 
naturally and effectively mean nothing but amalgamation 
or "miscegenation" there must be no social intermingling 
of the races. Granting social privileges to negro indi- 
viduals is an admission that sociality has nothing to 
do with race, but is a purely personal and private con- 
cern. But if the mayor of one of our cities should 
"keep the pig in the parlor," or have his servants sit at 
table with his guests, contrary to the wishes of the latter, 
the community would have the right to object. The 
"private" and the "personal" cannot separate themselves 
from representativeness. When a representative of a 
government serves grapejuice at his table he may be 
making history. No man can isolate his social conduct 
from the rest of his behavior. Public opinion has some 
rights even in the private sanctities of the home. The 

Eace fiDttlioDoxp in tbt %out^ 99 

people that put down patriarchal polygamy with an iron 
hand and sanction the attempt to prevent a citizen's pur- 
suing his ''happiness" through the use of alcoholic bever- 
ages will surely recognize the representativeness of race 
and the insidious danger of unrepresentative social 

Since the world began so-called personal rights have 
had to yield to public expediency. Much as fair-minded 
men may regret the lumping together of all individuals 
of a race under a sort of social taboo, the vicarious sac- 
rifice of such individuals is one of the sad but necessary 
incidents of the sacred solidarity of race. And if inter- 
racial social equality is to be guarded against^ all ap- 
proaches thereto must be prevented. The gentle trickling 
of water through a levee bank must be quickly and 
adequately stopped, lest the levee give way in time. The 
West Indian hurricane nyty begin its operations with 
little soft puffs of balmy breeze. For direction and the 
ulterior cause are the real forces, and not the trivial 
initial phenomena in themselves. In denying to ^'Mister 
Sammy Green," the estimable Afro-American gentle- 
man, certain inoffensive social courtesies that are ac- 
corded to rough-and-tumble "Dago Macaroni," or **Dago 
Mac" for short, the white man is true to the principle 
of the representativeness of race. The assertion of tiie 
right of social equality by negroes is obnoxious to whites, 
because it indicates a disposition to tmsettle the status 
of white supremacy. Conservative whites know that 
race friction cannot be avoided if individual negroes 
evince a disposition to have themselves treated as indi- 
viduals apart from their race status in the white com- 

When high-grade whites demand that certain negroes !/ 
be treated as exceptional persons apart from race status 

loo iRace fl>tt|)oDosp in tbt %ottt^ 

they endanger the peace of the community, and there- 
fore render themselves persona non grata to white 
people. Noble philanthropic views and a magnanimous 
sense of fair play should so discipline themselves as not 
to interfere with the best interests of both races. A 
situation that requires social rigidity toward any worthy 
person is by no means satisfactory; but so long as two 
diverse races live together one must remain subordinate 
if race friction is to be avoided; and individuals of the 
dominant race do a distinct disservice not only to their 
own race but also to the subordinate race when they 
espouse the cause of an abstract individualism that no 
longer has the sanction of the best thinkers. 

Antagonism to racial coequality demands that the 
low-grade white who endangers racial purity, and who 
encourages thereby social assertiveness of .any kind on 
the part of the subordinate race, needs to be disciplined 
by public opinion as well as by the vigorous and rigor- 
ous application of legal penalties. When whites b^n 
to coerce unworthy individuals of their own race in 
the interests of racial morality, no longer will the world 
be able to point scornfully at a dominant race which 
allows its individuals to give by their conduct the lie 
to the anti-equality protestations of the dominant racial 
stock. Every young white man should be taught by his 
elders that Uie use of human beings as mere biological 
conveniences is bad enough, but that such conduct is 
peculiarly despicable when it leads to the virtual prac- 
tice of inter-racial social equality of the gravest sort 

7. "No political equality." The right to vote is a 

conventional privilege of public order and not a natural 

right If the public welfare is best served by denying 

the exercise of the franchise to any portion of the popu- 

\ lation, the state is justified in such denial. If, however. 


^' .«. 

• • • « 

• • • » 

IRace fl)ttt)0D0£9 in tbt 9out|) loi 

the people of a state agree, even under sufferance, to a 
constitutional provision that prohibits the drawing of 
racial lines in the matter of the franchise, only temporary 
expediency justifies them in evading the constitutional 
provision through the indirection of state laws that are 
intended to operate against one race rather than against 
the other. Either the unsatisfactory Fifteenth Amend- 
ment should be repealed, — in which case the subordinate 
race would have to be allowed protection in another 
form,— or else some kind of racial representation might 
be provided, — perhaps municipal, legislative, and con- 
gressional delegates without votes. 

No system of negro suffrage that would enable the 
negro to hold the balance of power in a political division 
between parties or factions of the white race should have 
the sanction of the state. The time has come for the 
whites of the South to cease pretending either that they 
are afraid of "negro domination" or that they are per- 
fectly willing for "qualified" negroes to vote in appre- 
ciable numbers. The political elimination of the negro 
can be secured without depriving him of the democratic 
right of representation of some sort; and, sooner or 
later, the government of this nation will have to admit 
the natural fact of racial differences and the civil and 
political implications thereof. But to leave a subor- 
dinate people entirely at the mercy of any set of men, — 
no matter how well-intentioned and fair-minded they 
may be,— ^s to fly in the face of experience, especially 
where race feeling is the essential factor in a political 
situation. On the other hand, the frank admission of 
racial inequality under the conditions of local contact 
and the cultivation on the part of the ruling people of 
the spirit of noblesse oblige^ as well as the practice of 
impartial justice to the "minor" or subordinate people. 

I02 iaace fl)tti)oDO£p in tbt %out!b 

will at least have the merit of arranging a peaceful 
status pending the full and thorough investigation of 
the race problem. 

It appears probable that mankind values all rights 
and privil^fes in terms of at least potential social equal- 
ity. All conventional rights are closely associated with 
potential social status. The social implications of politi- 
cal life are many and varied. The suffrage is the demo- 
cratic badge of complete citizenship. Inasmuch as social 
equality between the races is denied, and the negro is for- 
bidden to expect or seek for that complete citizenship 
which is at bottom secured only by means of facile inter- 
marriage, the denial of political equality, — ^along with the 
granting, however, of appropriate racial political activ- 
ity, — ^would seem to be safeguards of white supremacy 
and of the peaceful dwelling together of the races. That 
such a sitmUion is desirable cannot be claimed by a 
people that calls itself democratic and Christian. How- 
ever, criticism should be directed not toward those South- 
cm whites who are free from race enmity and who 
listen to the voice of race conscience, but rather toward 
those who maintain that the present condition is satis- 
factory^ — ^who look forward with equanimity to a per- 
manent subordination of the negro people. 

Though the prevailing race opinion of the whites in 
the South may not articulately declare itself in favor of 
the principles of democracy and Christianity in their 
application to the negro people, I would call ""race 
orthodoxy" the opinion of those who are true to 
American principles, 3ret hold to white supremacy and 
all that it legitimately implies. Were the masses of the 
people able to appreciate fully the necessary ethical limi- 
tations of race attitude, they would tmdoubtedly express 
themselves in terms similar to our present statement of 

Hace fl>rtl)0D0£p in tbt %otttb 103 

race orthodoxy in the South rather than in the crude, 
uncompromising, and seemingly unethical dogmas enun- 
ciated in our first statement of racial common opinion 
in the South. 

Lack of faith in the common people's basal right feel- 
ing undermines the influence of many would-be leaders 
of ethical opinion in the Southern states. On the other 
side, subservience to mob spirit renders the utterance 
of some of the people's influential leaders void of ethical 
value in the eyes of the civilized peoples of the earth. 

Those of us that see clearly the validity of race feel- 
ing, yet hold firmly to our heritage of democratic prin- 
ciples, should be sensible enough to oppose sentimental 
abstract philanthropy in the interest of the people's more 
deep-seated and ultimately reasonable instincts. At the 
same time we should brace ourselves firmly against all 
racial arrogance, brutality, and the cowardly use of 
the mob spirit to shut off free discussion and maim the 
influence of high-souled men that love not their people 
less because they love righteousness more. Neverthe- 
less, after all has been said, we must hold to the dogma : 
No political equality for the negroes, but as much politi- 
cal privilege as will encourage and develop the civic con- 
sciousness of the negroes, help them develop a healthy 
race feeling, and leave them ground for hope that the 
white man will ultimately find for the "brother in black" 
a status freer than that which the subordinate race now 
occupies, without in any way giving up any of the racial 
principles that we have been setting forth in this state- 
ment of racial orthodoxy. 

8. 'In matters of civil rights and legal adjustments 
give the white man the benefit of the doubt; and under 
no circumstances interfere with the prestige of the white 
race." When the Supreme Court of the United States 

I04 iaace fl)tti)0D0£p in tbt %out!b 

declared the first and second sections of the second Civil 
Rights Act unconstitutional the highest law tribunal of 
the land showed that it was not racially color-blind, inas- 
much as it practically recognized a condition rather 
than a theory, no matter what its reasons for such a 
decision. So far as tests have been made, the courts 
have admitted the contention that the publication of a 
newspaper statement that a white man is "colored" con- 
stitutes a libel. The states have been allowed, in the 
exercise of their police power, to promulgate anti-amal- 
gamation laws, thus negativing the merely abstract claim 
of any two given individuals of different races osten- 
sibly to pursue their individual happiness through the 
establishment of the marriage relation. 

Whatever, then, the reasoning of the courts may be, 
the latent consciousness, — ^the subconsciousness, — of the 
law recognizes the inferior status of the negro race. If 
it is a good policy on the part of the state to recognize, 
directly or indirectly, the negro's discounted status, it is 
also good policy to buttress this conclusion by strength- 
ening the prestige of the dominant race in cases where 
probability and evidence are equally balanced. Where 
doubt must be resolved in favor of a child on the one 
hand or an adult on the other, law and public opinion 
incline in favor of the child ; for the law tends to protect 
the weak. Where decision must be made in favor of 
either a man or a woman the balance is inclined in 
favor of the woman, for she is in greater need of pro- 
tection; and chivalry is one of the characteristics of the 
true American. But an3rthing resembling a racial tri- 
umph for the negro individual is full of peril to the 
peace of society. 

Should not the negro, however, be protected just be- 
cause of his weakness? Assuredly, but in a way that 

Race SMbototjg in tbt %ottt!b 105 

will not endanger white supremacy or the negro's ex- 
plicit recognition of it. When an influential white 
patron attempts to see that justice is done a negro, that 
negro usually gets fair play. The white man's sponsor- 
ship takes the question out of the category of race rela- 
tions. It may become necessary to establish special 
tribunals or special procedure that will take up cases 
involving unfair discrimination against the negro indi- 
vidual, — the attempt of might to establish itself as right. 
Nevertheless, when the evidence is approximately equal / 
in a given case it appears inevitable that a white man's 
word should be accepted rather than a negro's, a white 
man's life protected rather than a negro's, a white man's 
rights in general respected rather than a negro's. We 
must remember that Lincoln, the Liberator, said that in 
case of conflict he was *'for the white man." This prin- 
ciple in no respect militates against the vigorous prosecu- 
tion of those who exploit the negro's weakness and 
ignorance. The white man's representative pride in his 
race, however, is a racial and a national asset, and is 
the prime condition of the peaceful retention of the 
status of white supremacy. 

If the unfortunate bi-racial situation involves some- 
thing of the flavor of caste privilege, so much the worse 
for the situation; but, such as it is, we must make the 
best of it, or change it in some way that will benefit the 
common weal. Important as justice is, order without 
justice is frequently safer for the state and more intrin- 
sically equitable than justice without order. Protect the 
negro, but let the guardianship be that of the superior 
race protecting the inferior, and not that of "the law" 
deciding the doubt in favor of the unfavored race. If 
the machinery of the law can be got to educate the white 
man to despise the cruel exploiter of a defenseless negro. 

io6 iaace jaDrtf)0D0£p in tiie %out!b 

it will be well. Truly this is a consummation devoutly 
to be wished. On the other hand, let all the institutions 
of this white man's country ever teach the lowest mem- 
ber of the dominant race that his representative superi- 
ority is the concern of all the people. We cheerfully 
admit that a condition wherein "benefit of clergy" must 
to some degree be granted to one race rather than to 
another is anomalous in view of the highest principles 
of democratic institutions. Curse the situation as much 
as you please, O friends of humanity, but recognize the 
preeminence of the white race everywhere and at all 
times, — and teach the negroes to do so. 

9. "In education let the negro have the crumbs that 
fall from the white man's table." So long as there is 
\/ not enough money to educate white children aright, so 
long as the dominant race feels imsure of the proximate 
and the ultimate effect of educating an inferior race 
that should continue to regard itself as inferior, so long 
as the rather expensive industrial education evidently 
needed by the negroes is also greatly needed among the 
whites, — ^just so long will the ruling race provide first 
for its own children and then for the children of the 
alien race that happens to be living in a white man's 
land. It seems highly tmfortunate that this must be so. 
Education, however, means freedom, and the whites are 
bound to give the greater freedom to their own children 
who are destined to remain the favored people. When a 
practicable solution of the race problem comes in sight, 
and when the requisites of a proper education are pro- 
vided for white children, then the innate generosity of 
the white people, freed from fear of the future and 
realizing the pitful need of the black man, will show 
itself as the quality of a brave and noble people. 

The sensitiveness of the Southern conscience has been 

iaace jaDrtf)0D0£p in tbt ftoutii 107 

somewhat blunted by the assumption of responsibility 
for negro education by the Northern friends of the 
negro. The whites expect the n^^oes to exert them- 
selves in most self-sacrificing fashion to educate them- 
selves. Believing that the handicap of the negro's pres- 
ence is sufficiently severe, the Southern people would be 
more than human if they thought as much of the negro's 
needs as they do of their own children's. The whites 
do not fear general negro competition in any depart- 
ment of life; but they do dread the friction that will 
result from the negro's attempts to show his "equality," 
and they will never stand for the competitive overcom- 
ing of inferior or unfortunate white individuals by "su- 
perior" negroes. As a rule, the whites will conquer all 
along the line ; but there is enough friction between capi- 
tal and labor, enough striving among the classes of so- 
ciety, enough difficulty in having the people get their 
dues, without adding to our burdens and complicating 
our problems with a racial coefficient prefixed to each 
item of our large economic problems. Hence, for some 
time at least, the negro will get what educational 
funds the white man feels he can reasonably spare — ^and 
no more. In this day when men are asking the question 
whether benevolence in general is worth as much as it 
costs in the long run, it ill becomes critics of the South 
to ask for "equal educational facilities" for whites and 
blacks. Let the negro prove some of the splendid quali- 
ties attributed to him by his friends by evincing a spirit 
of self-sacrifice such as the world has never before seen. 
He will need to do this in order to hold his own atten- 
tion focused on the situation of his race,— desperate so 
far as spiritual freedom is concerned. 

10. "Let there be such industrial education of the 
negro as will best fit him to serve the white man." To 

io8 iaace fl)tti)oD(nEp in tiie %otttb 

say that the negro was "created" to work for the white 
man is to utter unmitigated nonsense. But the negro 
must remain a subordinate race so long as he lives in 
the same territory with the whites; hence he will con- 
tinue for a long time, — ^unless complete local segrega- 
tion shall come about with tremendous rapidity, — ^to fill 
the ranks of the simpler manual occupations. He may 
have his doctors and his lawyers and the like; but they 
must not be educated to claim professional equality with 
white practitioners. Professional life has many social 
associations and implications. If the industrial educa- 
tion of the negro is such as to make him a useful worker 
without bringing about competitive friction with whites, 
his industrial education will be a blessing to both races. 
If the negro continues to "know his place," no matter 
how much or how well he may be educated, even mod- 
erate competition with the whites, when not accompanied 
with "bumptiousness," may for a time be tolerated by 
the ruling race. 

As long as education makes for freedom, latent if not 
patent opposition to negro education may be expected 
from the whites, just as in slavery times. This oppo- 
sition will disappear as soon as the future of race rela- 
tions is so forecast that the whites may be freed from 
the uncertainty of not knowing how soon the negroes 
will "claim that they are as good as white men." The 
evident fact that some negro individuals are better in 
character as measured by any known standard than cer- 
tain whites in no way invalidates the principle of repre- 
sentativeness of race. Racial equality and individual 
worth are different things. And the imputation of rep- 
resentative racehood to the inferior white man is a 
process that cannot be expected to decrease, but rather 
to grow as the negroes become better educated. 

iaace fl)tti)ODO£p in tbt ftoutl 109 

It is a necessity of his position that the negro shall be 
a "suffering servant" ; let us hope that he will be Jeho- 
vah's suffering servant as well as the white man's and 
his own race's. 

11. "Only Southerners understand the negro ques- 
tion." But tiiey do not They undoubtedly understand 
the negro better than do any other people. They are 
not always able to state what they know of him, but 
they somehow manage on the whole to get along with 
him far better than could have been expected under the 

Whatever study of the negro question may be made, 
the Southern white man must be close to the center of 
it, in order that his experience, his intuition, his tem- 
peramental fitness to deal with the negro may be utilized 
in the interest of the interpretation of negro character 
and of race relations. For the Southern white man, 
however, to "go it alone" in the study of any human 
question would be simply preposterous. On the other 
hand, for technical scientific methods to expect to ap- 
preciate the nuances of racial and social relations of a 
peculiar kind is equally absurd. When Southerners are 
scientifically prepared and are free from more than a 
saving amount of provincialism, then they are doubtless 
the best fitted of all men to study the race problem. 
But the South is not as yet overstocked with such 

12. "Let the South settle the negro question." Yes, 
if the South can, and will, settle it in accordance with 
democratic and Christian principles. No human ques- 
tion can be regarded as permanently settled when one 
people remains subordinate to another simply on account 
of racial differences. Under present conditions the 
South's "solution" will vary with locality, percentage 

no iaace SMbotiosj! in tbt ftouti) 

of negro population, and so on. These local solutions 
are the very best under the circumstances, but a com- 
placent satisfaction in them as permanent arrangements 
contradicts the humanitarian principles of civilization, 
and will sooner or later prove to be inimical not only 
to the world, the nation, the South, and the states con- 
cerned, but also most directly to the localities them- 
selves. Nevertheless, whatever the "soluticm" shall be, it 
must take into account specifically the needs of particu- 
lar localities and the mental attitude of the people con- 
cerned, both white and colored. 

The South did not and could not settle the slavery 
question ; it did not and could not settle the question of 
reconstruction. The actual method of emancipating the 
slaves was wasteful and injurious, and the coercive 
measures of reconstruction have in large measure proved 
themselves to be failures; but so long as the prevailing 
opinion in the South is in favor of reaching a settlement 
based upon the stigmatized subordination of all negroes 
for all time, the conscience of mankind will not approve. 
And surely the South has learned that no matter how 
honest it may be in its opinion it cannot expect to have 
its own way unless the enlightened sentiment of man- 
kind is favorable thereto. The South is too dose to 
the race problem to be competent to solve it aright ; the 
rest of the world is too far away; the South, with the 
aid of the rest of the country and with the assistance of 
the best thought in the world, should take the leading 
part in the solution of the race question, provided the 
Southern people pronounce in favor of ultimately giving 
the negroes every opportimity of development of which 
they prove themselves capable. And nothing but ex- 
periment under favorable conditions can demonstrate 
what any given people can make of themselves. But 

Hace fl>rtl)0D0£p in tie %otttb m 

as long as the two races live together under conditions 
substantially as at present, the negroes will remain a 
subordinate people. 

13. "The status of peasantry is all the negro may 
hope for if the races are to live together in peace." 
Under present conditions, and admitting the continued 
subordination of the negro race so long as the two races 
live together, it would appear that some sort of caste 
civilization is necessary, wherein the lower race may 
develop its own individuals to the highest possible ex- 
tent, but must rest content with a lower social, civic, 
and political status as compared with that of the ruling 
race. A sort of parallel bi-racial civilization, with a 
broad and rigid anti-racial caste line, may prove feasible. 
All historical analogy and the traits of the Southern 
white man, however, are against such a supposition. 
That the common opinion of the South, even of many 
of its highest representatives, should favor a "peasantry" 
solution is a clear indication that the South, unless pre- 
vailed upon to study the race problem in the light of 
the world of conscience, will make no attempt to solve 
a problem that it has already solved in its own mind, and 
is now trying to solve in practice by increasing the grip 
of the dominant race and fastening the stigma of in- 
feriority on all negroes without regard to individual 
worth. Though this present racial discrimination is the 
best present arrangement, — especially when it is tem- 
pered, as it is almost everywhere, by the generous Chris- 
tian attitude of a white minority and by the general 
good will of the masses of the people toward "n^^oes 
that know their place," — the American people must radi- 
cally revise their basal political principles and stultify 
their vaunted Christian faith if they rest content with 
the present arrangement, however necessary it may be 

112 iaace fl)tti)oDO£p in tbt %otttb 

now and for the immediate future. If the results of 
investigation indicate that the present condition is a 
necessary evil, then all we can do is to temper the wind 
to the shorn lamb as much as we may without endanger- 
ing complete white supremacy and ascendancy. 

14. "Let the lowest white man count for more than 
the highest negro." If the statement "Let the lowest 
white man count for more than the highest negro" be a 
statement of race status under present conditions, it 
may be allowed to stand because of the principle of the 
representativeness of race as we have entmciated it ; but 
if it means a final judgment of character value, and pre- 
tends to rank wordi of soul and body simply in accord- 
ance with the accidents of race, it is pernicious moral 
heresy. If Jesus meant anything when he said that the 
harlots and sinners might go into the Kingdom of 
Heaven before the righteous, no human authority has 
the right to rank human souls at all, and least of all 
by superficial standards. To establish a caste of the 
kind in the interests of peace, race purity, and the public 
weal is one thing; to act as an arbitrary human provi- 
dence in deciding on the personal worth of individuals 
according to racial characteristics is another, and a most 
inane proposition. But those who make the absolute 
statement regarding the worth of individuals do not 
mean what they seem to say. They all would prac- 
tically admit the splendid worth of certain negro indi- 
viduals if these individuals were living somewhere else 
than in America. The statement, then, is true of racial 
representativeness under the conditions of geographical 
racial contact, but is true in no other sense. 

15. "The above statements indicate the leadings of 
Providence." The advocates of slavery said that the 
peculiar institution was the result of the "leadings of 

iaace SMbotioi^ in tbt %otttb 113 

Providence." Even so, — ^and so was the emancipation 
of the negro. In a sense it is always true that "what- 
ever is is right." But we do not see the end wherein 
the full rightness doth appear. Even if we did, the end 
would not justify the means, except on the principle of 
self-preservation in the choice of the least of several 
evils. Let those who claim to read the Divine Mind at 
least have the goodness to show their credentials and 
admit science and the highest human morality to the 
counsels of the guild of latter-day prophets and inter- 
preters of the Most High. 


In our statement of what we have tried to put forth 
as an honest view of race orthodoxy in the South, as 
opposed to, but involving the truth of, a mere race com- 
mon opinion, we may have unwittingly indulged in 
special pleading and other forms of unconscious disin- 
genuousness; if so, our challenging statements may at 
least have the office of inviting a criticism as honest in 
intention as our statement has been. The trouble with 
most of us in this discussion of the race question is not 
our lack of fairness, frankness, candor, and ingenuous- 
ness, but our lack of "the incessant prevalence of de- 
tective discussion" of the scientific order. There has 
been little straight thinking on the subject. The emo- 
tionalists are of course cloudy; and the men of science 
are in many cases too disdainful of emotion to interpret 
its values. Psychological amateurism has been almost 
as common among men of science as among the gen- 
eral run of disputants; for the man who fails to see 
the overshadowing importance of race feeling, and who 

114 Hace fDtibotiot^ in tbt %otttb 

would settle the human problems without regard to the 
psychological and ethical interpretation of human preju- 
dices, has missed the very essence of the problem; and 
his "scientific views" deserve as little consideration, so 
far as "solutions" go, as do the antagonistic or the be- 
nevolent vaporings of the emotionalist, or the deadly 
dull "common sense" of the merely "practical" man. 


Have we failed to learn the lesson of the slavery con- 
troversy and the Civil War and the evils of reconstruc- 
tion? Shall we hide our heads in the sands of "com- 
promise"? Shall we drift, drift, drift, — waiting on 
Providence, Who helps those who help themselves ? 

Whatever the answer to these questions, unless some 
one or ones can convince the South that her racial creed 
is unworthy and unpractical, she can be counted on to 
hold fast to it, — at least in its more conservative form, 
— ^with the consent, and with more and more of the 
active aid, of the masses of the white people throughout 
this coimtry. If a division must come, the whites will 
assuredly stand together. The cleavage is now not be- 
tween North and South, but between race and race. 
North and South are still somewhat apart on account 
of the inertia of the past; but the time is close at hand 
when the people of the whole country will either show 
the South a better racial creed (and I doubt their ability 
or their willingness to do so) or will adopt for them- 
selves the creed of the South. Even now the solid Far 
West is joining hands with the South in racial matters ; 
and the end is not yet in the growing solidarity of the 
white people of this country. 

Hace S>rtbotitas in tie ftoutl 115 

Shall the negro, therefore, be deserted or simply ex- 
ploited by the whites ? Not so ! Very soon, let us hope, 
the common sense and the conscience of the country 
will be roused sufficiently to have this problem at least 
worked on systematically, seriously, in the fear of God, 
and in the love of man. 

B. Reviews of Typical Views. 


* Edgar Gardner Murphy : The Basis of Ascendancy 

New York, 1909 

Mr. Murphy is one of the choicest specimens of noble 
character that the South has produced. With love for 
his native section and appreciation of its excellencies, 
its difficult problems, and its brave attempts to meet 
them, he unites in his character sweet-spirited Chris- 
tianity, broad humanitarianism and loyal national patri- 
otism. He is in many ways a model for our young men 
and an inspiration to us all. He has scholarship, com- 
mon sense, industry, keen powers of observation, a 
sense of humor, distinction of literary style, philosophic 
grasp, and many another attribute deserving of uni- 
versal praise and admiration. His former book, "The 
Present South," received praise not a little from quali- 
fied men North and South. His work with the educa- 
tion boards and conferences merits the gratitude of our 
whole people. His pathetic struggle to help work out 
our Southern problems, in spite of his continued bad 
health, deserves and receives our warm sympathy. 
Hence it would seem that a critical but friendly com- 
mentary on certain phases of his recent book ought to 
have some value, if such work is done in the right spirit. 
The present writer hopes that he has that spirit, inas- 
much as his temperament makes him warmly sympa- 

* Review originally written for a distinguished Northern inves- 


''€bt lBa0i0 o( ascenDancp'' 117 

thetic with Mr. Murphy, his experience has been na- 
tional as well as Southern, and his political and ethical 
and religious principles are in substantial accord with 
our author. 

The book exhibits a more or less conscious struggle 
between Northern and Southern points of view at their 
best. Mr. Murphy realizes the validity of Southern 
race feeling in its broader and deeper aspects and North- 
em humanitarianism in its more rational forms. He 
feels that the average Southerner is as much a humani- 
tarian at heart as his Northern brother, and that the 
typical Northerner has at bottom as much race conscious- 
ness as the Southerner. On the Southern side he sees 
the danger of even our best men's acquiescing in the 
idea of benevolent exploitation of the negro people; 
and he realizes the danger that is lurking in certain forms 
of Northern long-distance ultra-altruism. He tries to 
hold the balance evenly in this book. But, whether 
consciously or unconsciously, the first part of his book 
seems to be, in the main, pro-Southern and defensive of 
the South, while the latter part becomes largely pro- 
Northern and- critical of the South. Nor does he suc- 
ceed in making a synthesis of the two points of view. 

When speaking of the situation as it is and of the 
importance of race consciousness he seems to be almost 
a Southern partisan; but, when he comes to deal with 
the solution of the race question and the method of 
bringing it about, he apparently loses sight of the clear 
implications of race consciousness and race contact. This 
criticism will, I think, appear justified in the course of 
the commentary on the book. I emphasize this point 
at the outset because Mr. Murphy's ideals and reasoning 
are very attractive to the better spirits North and South 
and everywhere else. In other words, to restune, Mr. 

ii8 Eace S>ttt)oDosp in ttt ^ontt 

Murphy understands the ethics of the situation better 
than its psychology, the spiritual man better than the 
natural man, the ideal better than the actual. But surely 
it is of utmost importance in a vitally practical matter 
to "draw the thing" as it is "for the God of Things as 
they are." What ought to be can, in this matter, only 
be reached through what is. Doubtless Mr. Murphy 
would reply, I am drawing the thing as / see it; if so, 
my contention is that Mr. Murphy does not see it as it 
is. Vividly appreciating the tremendous importance and 
value of race feeling, he does not see its inner signifi- 
cance. There is no open way between his psychology 
and his ethics. Occasionally he drops a word that indi- 
cates a rather scornful attitude toward certain crude 
forms of race psychology, and this attitude careful men 
ought to share ; but popular ethnic psychology, so called, 
is^ a very different thing from what our author himself 
calls the "moral psychology of the situation." Indeed, 
the whole race problem is found in the psychology of 
the white man's mind and not in the psychology of racial 
possibilities. Granted that the negro may attain unto 
a high degree of culture and strength of character, such 
a result will but deepen the problem if the white man 
declines to associate with the negro in any way that 
involves social contact — and all contact in civil life is 
at bottom social or closely connected with sociality. 

Mr. Murphy seems to think that race consciousness 
can be evolved into something higher and finer. Per- 
haps; but we must know certainly that such a refining 
is possible, how it is to be brought about, and whether 
there are signs of such development in existence now. 
Useless and dangerous is it to advocate mere possibili- 
ties, which, as Hegel says, are really "nothing," in the 
face of actualities working the other way! Granting 

''Clie T5Mi» o( ascetiDancp'' 119 

that the negro ought to have a full and free development, 
we are by no means sure that such development can 
occur in the presence of the white race. Nor is it by 
any means a feasible assimiption to claim that the white 
man will or even ought to be willing that the South 
should hold on to the negro in spite of Mr. Murphy's 
admission that the negro's presence will render the South 
economically less effective than other jparts of the Union. 
As a rule, economic inferiority carries with it some other 
infirmities. Character is "one body" ; nationality is or- 
ganic and biologically based. 

But we are delaying the detailed treatment that will 
make the above statements clear. Be it noted, before 
beginning our commentary, that the words Southern and 
Northern are meant to stand for what is best in both 
sections and that this best is largely common to North 
and South, but that the sections cannot possibly, at 
present, see the problem from the same angle, on ac- 
count of differences of position and contact. 


I. Its Uniqueness. "Has the South a field of ex- 
perience peculiarly her own?" P. 217. ... "The sym- 
pathy which the world has given, and has rightly given, 
to the negro of these Southern states should not be per- 
mitted to obscure the situation of the stronger race." 
121. ... "No man can fully understand such a situa- 
tion except the man who has been reared right in it." 39. 
... "If the South had sinned against freedom in the 
name of property, the North was now (during recon- 
struction) sinning against freedom in the name of gov- 
ernment." 177. 

I20 Eace fl)tti)oDos9 in ttt %ouib 

Comment. The "uniqueness" is not simply a matter 
of history, geography, economics and the like, but es- 
sentially one of biology, psychology and social ethics 
and esthetics. Even the man reared "right in it" — 
"raised right in it," the average Southerner would say — 
is by no means qualified to understand it ; but he has an 
immense advantage over those who live away from the 
Southern situation, when we ask ourselves what that 
situation means to human instinct. However, the South- 
erner's uncritical "raising" may be as destructive to the 
truth of his views as the Northerner's lack of vital ex- 
perience in regard to Southern affairs. 

Neither humanitarian generalities nor Southern "in- 
stinct" can tell us the whole truth, nor can both of these 
together; but, whatever the truth may be, the stronger 
race is the stronger factor and deserves the first con- 
sideration, the first place and the greater sympathy. 
And this on the principle of the higher utilitarianism as 
well as on the principle of the blood kin and race sym- 
pathy. More than this : the highest system of morality 
that the world has ever seen — Christian ethics — does not 
forget the biological basis of administrative and develop- 
mental ethics. For it says, and its saying is a law of 
nature, "To the Jew first, and also to the Greek." 

Therefore, I should say that the psychology of the 
Southern white man's mind is the first thing of all to 
be considered in order that the first factor in causation, 
and the first factor in the solution, and the first factor 
in the final worths of civilization's resultants may be 
properly understood and evaluated. Such a study, of 
course, does not stand by itself, but is closely linked with 
the psychology of the negro's mind, with the psychology 
of historical causes, with the psychological results of 
environment — d la mode Buckle. But Mr. Murphy's 

""^tit lBa0i0 o( 2isntntiantf 121 

modest insistence that the white man's side must not be 
"obscured" is putting the thing rather mildly. ,To the 
average man this is like saying : In considering the care- 
taking of flocks of sheep and goats, care must be taken 
not to let the sheep suffer too much from the lack of 
food ! I do not say that Murphy means it that way, but 
I do think that his words would ordinarily be so inter- 
preted in the South. After all, we are obliged to apply 
to this situation the words of Jesus addressed to the 
Syro-Phoenician woman. We dare not throw the chil- 
dren's bread to the dogs ! And we ought not to let the 
cnmibs that fall from the white man's tables be too 
scanty. If we can play the part or a part of Providence 
and prepare a table in the wilderness for the children of 
Ham, that may be better than feeding them on crumbs. 
We do not know what is best : let's study and find out ! 
We are now in danger of sinning against freedom in 
the name of both property and government. In order 
not to "interfere with property values" by disturbing the 
labor market — even twenty-five years hence and as a 
bare possibility — by talking about negro colonization, we 
run the risk of insisting that white planters at the South 
and white investors at the North must wax fat at the 
expense of Southern manhood and democracy and Chris- 
tianity. And in the name of "government" we are in 
danger of asking that a system of race caste must be 
substituted for democracy, because "the safety of our 
institutions" demands it! I am here emphasizing Mr. 
Murphy's rebuke of the reconstruction policy; and at 
the same time pointing out a greater spiritual danger 
which Mr. Murphy does not deal with. On the other 
hand, I cannot agree with the song in another key in 
which Mr. Murphy seems to join: "When the negro 
race becomes strong enough it shall vote, for every 

122 Eace fl)ttt)oDos9 in tbe %outt) 

qualified citizen should vote!" This last is a chant of 
the idealists who forget that the spiritual man cannot 
come, and, if thrust forward, cannot thrive, except on 
the firm basis of the normal "natural man," all of 
whose equalities are offshoots of immanent social equal- 
ity and the intermarriage that is its vital basis. The 
caste of the kin is the last stand of "liberty enlightening 
the world." [Even if we admit Mr. Murphy's contention 
that "every qualified citizen should vote," it does not fol- 
low that the possession of education or money will "qual- 
ify" a non-assimilable people.] 

II. Race Consciousness. "The deepest thing about 
any man — ^next to his humanity itself — is his race." 79. 
Mr. Murphy tells us that Professor Giddings is right 
in his assertion that "it is about the consciousness of 
kind, as a principle, that all other motives organize them- 
selves in the evolution of social choice, social volition, 
or social policy." xix. And he also expresses the hope 
that the South will never "minimize the significance of 
race." xvi. 

Comment. No Southerner could hope to have his 
views on race consciousness expressed more forcibly than 
Mr. Murphy here puts them. But what do his state- 
ments necessarily imply? I should say that he means, 
that he must mean, if he means anything real and defi- 
nite, that our humanity manifests itself in time and 
space and motion in and through and with the "con- 
sciousness of kind," which is itself at bottom based on 
biological kinship. We cannot afford to "minimize" 
kinship as the prime material of all social structure, as 
the prime motive of all social function. The natural 
man is a racial man, who must reach spiritual develop- 
ment in and through and with the perennial sense of 
kinship and the dependence of all social phenomena — 

''€:bt T5mI$ o( ascenDancp'' 123 

civic, political, economic, religious, esthetic, moral — upon 
the sense of social solidarity biologically derived. In 
other words, we had better not forget the etymological 
signification of the word nation. Let us follow out a 
common dictionary definition. "A nation is an aggre- 
gate of persons belonging to the same ethnological fam- 
ily, and speaking the same language." Let us suppose 
this meaning to be secondary and try another: "A 
people inhabiting a certain district and united together 
by common political institutions." Here, obviously, we 
need to find out what the word people means, though at 
a glance we note the significance of the words, "united 
together" (not discordant and jarring by nature). Well, 
a people is "the body (not bodies) of persons composing 
(not discomposing!) a nation, community, tribe, or 
race." Eliminate the words nation, tribe and race, for 
obvious reasons. What is a "community" ? "The mem- 
bers of a body politic having equal rights and privileges, 
civil and political, and united by common interests." 
These definitions, taken from English sources, hint 
pretty plainly at our chief difficulty in this negro prob- 
lem. We cannot frame a definition that does not imply 
in some way equal rights and privileges and common 
interests. And, when conditions exist that keep these 
equal rights and privileges in abeyance, we naturally fall 
back on the rest of the definition of a community, "com- 
mon interests." Interest is "advantage, good, profit, 
concern, utility; share, portion, participation in value." 
Common is "general," which means either pertaining 
to a genus, or ziHde^ without narrow limitations. Can 
the secondary meaning, "wide" exist healthily without 
the primary meaning, "pertaining to the same race"? 
That is a most pertinent question, and not to be an- 
swered offhand. I think we may safely asstune that it 

124 Hace fl)ttt)oDos9 in tbt %outt) 

will be hard to get any "generality" — leaving aside glit- 
tering varieties — ^that has not a biologically generic tang 
to it. And when we find contrasting psychological- 
social "genera," or races widely differing in physical, 
mental and moral traits, and feeling no kinship with one 
another; and when we know, furthermore, that the one 
race esteems itself the "Chosen People" as compared 
with the other; and when the interests of the two races 
do not seem to fit in with one another unless one serves 
the other; and when we note that even in family life 
one person must be legally superior for the sake of 
security and authority; and when we see the "races" 
growing apart instead of together ; and when the domi- 
nant race is bent on depriving the weaker race of all the 
distinctive marks of community and "generality," im- 
puting to it fitness only for segregation or subordinated 
service — ^I say, when we find these things, dare we deny 
the native association between birth and nationality, and 
do we continue hoping to get a "community" out of a 
"natural" (birthly) dis-unity? Perhaps so, but surely 
not certainly so. The burden of proof is on those who 
hope to transform the natural man in such wise that he 
will substitute contract for status in race matters — ^ 
thing he never has done without intermarriage or the 
admission of substantial equality of races. Are we to 
assume that whereas we cannot get oil and water to 
mix we may nevertheless coax the oil to allow just a 
few very little drops of water to float with the oil on top 
without actually mixing with it? These questions, 
surely, cannot be answered dogmatically. If they can. 
is it not more scientific and historical and natural to 
answer them in the way the ordinary Southerner does? 
If his answer is wrong, show the wrongness to him in 
such a plain way that his common sense and his con- 

''€:bt lBa0i0 o( ascenDancp'' 125 

science must approve if he is an honest man. Now, I 
think that the average white Southerner is honest. And 
I believe that these honest men generally control all that 
can be controlled at the South. Nor do I believe that 
this last statement will be contradicted by any person 
whose opinion is worth having — ^at least on this subject. 
I can hardly believe that Mr. Murphy realizes the 
implications of his strong statement about the ultimate- 
ness and finality of race differences. At any rate, if he 
does appreciate fully these things, may it not be that he 
overlooks to some extent the inevitable sociality that 
is involved in equal civil and political rights? The man 
who will not sit with a negro in a hotel will not long be 
willing to sit with him in a street car ; the man who will 
not sit with him in a street car will not long sit with 
him on the jury bench. If the negro's presence is un- 
pleasant behind the counter of a department store, it 
will soon become offensive in a post office. How can 
students of social nature overlook the simplest facts of 
psychology, the law of association and the law of imita- 
tion ? Besides, can one draw a line in water and expect 
it to remain fixed ? Can one actually tell us where social 
communion ends and civic relations begin? Can human 
contact healthily exist on the compartment principle? 
Does not a democracy believe that any child may live 
to be president or to marry the president's daughter? 
And can you strike out the natural, the vital, the poig- 
nantly interesting, the eternally human aspects of de- 
mocracy and leave anything else but a stupid lot of 
paper "rights and privileges"? Let believers in the 
equalities minus their soul of social equality listen to 
James Bryce, quoted by Mr. Murphy himself on p. 334 
of his "Present South": "The social relations of two 
races which cannot be fused raise problems even more 

126 Eace S>tt|)oDos9 in ttt %ontt 

difficult (than the suffrage, etc.) because incapable of 
being regulated by law. Law may attempt to secure 
equal admission to public conveyances or public enter- 
tainments. But the look of scorn, the casual blow, the 
brutal oath thrown at one who dares not resent it — these 
are injuries that cannot be prevented where the senti- 
ment of the dominant race allows them. Impunity cor- 
rupts the ordinary man; and even the better sort suffer 
from the consciousness of their own superiority, not 
merely in rank, but also in strength and volition. One 
must have lived among a weaker race in order to real- 
ize the kind of irritation which its defects produce in 
those who deal with it, and how temper and self-control 
are strained in resisting temptations to harsh or arbi- 
trary action. It needs something more than the virtue 
of a philosopher — it needs the tenderness of a saint— ^ 
to preserve the same courtesy and respect toward the 
members of a backward race as are naturally extended to 

III. Negro Inferiority. *'Those with the capacity to 
govern will govern." 8. The negro's rights were ''won 
for him, not by him." 9. Disfranchisement "bore in its 
origin only the slightest animus against the negro or 
his fortunes." 26. "Aggressive antipathies" have partly 
a "defensive basis" due to habits induced by Reconstruc- 
tion and to fear of "a general encroachment upon the 
white man's 'blood.' " 123. 

Comment. If those with the ability and capacity to 
govern will govern, and if the white folk are therefore 
the ones to govern, will they not govern primarily in 
the interests of their own people, the whites? Believ- 
ing that the negroes are inferior people; that the indi- 
vidual negro cannot escape the fate of his race because 
of unusual qualities; that every negro represents his 

''€tit lBa0i0 o( StscenDancp'' 127 

race as such whether he wants to or not, because racial 
Hnes as such are drawn and cannot be escaped ; believing 
with Mr. Murphy that rights won for a race instead of 
by that race are really "rights" imposed by external and 
perhaps hostile authority — is it surprising that the whites 
should idealize every white man and discount every 
negro? Is it surprising that the "democratizing of the 
South" so well described on pp. i6 ff. of Mr. Murphy's 
"Present South" should result in a strong belief that 
the negro is not really a vital element of citizenship, and 
therefore ought not to have the suffrage because he 
cannot win a status that will show "sufficient evidence 
of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, 
the community"? (Virginia Declaration of Rights, 
1776.) If "law is an expression of the will of the com- 
munity • . . and civil distinctions can be founded . . . 
only on public utility" (French National Assembly, 
1789), is it not inevitable that the whites should regard 
the negroes as bogus citizens and come to believe that the 
real community would be injured, that "public utility" 
would be outraged, if aliens, doomed to remain alien 
biologically, were allowed to treat themselves as citizens 
in a land where every contact of citizenship is closely 
associated with social contact ? 

"As with the idea of equality in ethics and in religion, 
equality before the law means the membership of a great 
whole" (Ritchie: "Natural Rights," p. 255). If the 
white hian cannot get himself to look at the negro race 
except as a race, and if he cannot regard negroes as 
part of the "great whole" of the community, but as 
aliens residing here on sufferance and because no one 
knows what to do with them, what process of develop- 
ment will bring the white man to give the negro the 
suffrage voluntarily? This point will come up farther 

128 Race S>ttt)otios9 in ttt %otttt 

on, but it ought to be noted here, because of its con- 
nection with the apparent belief of Southern whites — a 
belief too deep and instinctive for articulate expression 
on the part of the average man — that all the equalities 
of actual life are based on actual or potenticU social 
equality, and social equality in turn on biological kin- 
ship. Cry "alas I that it should be so," if you will, but 
the fact remains that kindness is primarily kin-ness, and 
that a man sometimes cannot "love his neighbor as him- 
self," unless he can manage to keep his neighbor on 
the other side of the fence. The Jesus who told the 
parable of the good Samaritan was also the Jesus who 
explained to the Samaritan woman that the Jews had 
no dealings with the Samaritans, and who soon Himself 
departed from the country. Daily, hourly do Southern 
white men show forth the qualities of the Good Samari- 
tan. But the kindness shown is that of the representor 
live of a superior race to a representative of an inferior 
race. And the representative binds the race. Forced 
and unnatural and ultra-altruistic morality of the "social 
catholicity" order may have as deadly results as those 
high-flown "affinities" that lead to adultery. 

Conservative Southern whites have been brought up 
on the Bible with its history of the Chosen People's sad 
fate when they, supposedly, disobeyed God and let the 
wives and children of the Canaanites stay alive. They 
instinctively believe in the God of Battles and Venge- 
ance, and in the God of Social Selection and Survival of 
the Kin. They feel the subtile meaning of the social 
solidarity of all real citizenship. To them the family 
is very sacred as a condition of status out of which all 
social contacts arise and in the form of which all civic 
relations are seen. They vote for men as incarnations 
of principles; they hold to principles largely because of 

""Ciie T5taH$ of 9»untiantf 129 

the men who have promulgated the principles and the 
impressive and noble way in which tiiese leaders have 
taught the common folk who heard them gladly. This 
is idealizing? Yes, that is one of the troubles — and one 
of the permanent factors — ^not altogether to be frowned 
upon by idealizers of present-day '"national" leaders. 
Carlyle may have failed in his task of teaching us the 
overwhelming importance of hero-worship, but the way- 
faring man may see if he will the vitality of the South's 
belief in personality, kinship, family and blood. 

Is the South wrong? Is there any danger to '"blood" 
from inter-racial communion? Is there any danger of 
"social equality" from the practice of "political equal- 
ity"? Is the South believing in something tmreal and 
unpsychological when she practices the belief that all 
forms of equality come at last to blood kinship actual 
or possible? Perhaps so. But many an investigator in 
other parts of the world than the South will warn us 
not to deny the South's claim without careful study. 
"Show us the futility of our over-great protective in- 
stinct ; show us the unreason of our fears ; show us what 
will take the place of race-prejudice run out of a simple 
man's mind; prove to us the sovereign power of high- 
toned esthetic morality in preventing the mixture of the 
races — show us some of these things," say the South- 
erners, "and we shall try to put our bogie fears to sleep." 

IV. Racial Contacts. "The ultimate basis of inti- 
mate social affiliation is not individual (as is so fre- 
quently asserted), but social." 80. 'The profoundest 
need of every educated life is for another educated life. 
The deepened instinct, the educative impulse, is assimi- 
lative, acctunulative, social. It demands and creates an 
environment." 99. "The individual man, in the world, 
may escape almost every calamity or deliverance except 


I30 Race fDrtbonos^ in tbt %ouib 

that which comes in the form of other men." 156 (cp. 
136). ''The stronger race must live, must find and equip 
and free itself, must rear its children — thronged, en- 
vironed, influenced, profoundly determined by the weaker 
race" (cp. 241) 156. "There is nothing more perilous 
to the moral standard or social feeling than the presence 
of a large and distinctive class of a closely related popu- 
lation too ignorant and too weak to protect itself. It 
is easy to say that the case of such a population should 
appeal to the chivalry of the strong. And so it should. 
And so it does." 123. "The stronger becomes habitu- 
ated to the conception of itself as identical with the 
state." 133. 

Comment. Take the quotations of this section in con- 
nection with the extracts and comments of previous sec- 
tions, and it will be seen how close is the connection 
between all acts of sociality among individuals and the 
, races they represent We shall also have to admit that 
v^ the "educative impulse" tends to pull down barriers. The 
gentleman is welcome the world over, or tends to be, no 
matter what his nationality. Intrinsic nobility of soul 
distracts attention from color of skin. Now, reduce 
race prejudice, so called, to the minimum, and allow 
race contact to continue, is it not inevitable that the 
"assimilative" action of education will tend to break 
down barriers of blood? So say many Southerners. 
They seem to think that contact b^ets either coopera- 
tion or competition (race competition). They believe 
that cooperation is at bottom based on potential social- 
ity. The festive board is usually an incident of all co- 
operative efforts, whether religious, philanthropic, po- 
litical, esthetic, scientific or commercial. Desiring neither 
cooperation — except in a very external and therefore 
non-vital way — nor competition, which is likely to be 

""Ciie T&a$i$ o( ascenDancp'' 131 

decidedly anti-social, these Southerners naturally enough 
feel uncertain about giving the negroes an education that 
will make them the "equals" of the whites, or, worse 
still, make them think themselves equals when they are 
not. But I must not elaborate, for this is not primarily 
a study of the negro question, but a study of Mr. Mur- 
phy's views of it. 

V. Race Psychology. On p. 191 and elsewhere in 
the book Mr. Murphy hints at the importance of the 
"moral psychology" of the Southern situation. Remem- 
bering this, note the implications of the following two 
quotations : ( i ) "We are not bound to assiune equali- 
ties that do not exist, but we cannot arbitrarily fix the 
status of inequality from without." 197. (2) "No. true 
freedom can retard our freedom. Every liberated ca- 
pacity must contribute both its capacity and its liberty 
to ours." 

Comment "Moral psychology" will help us to find 
out what equalities are natural and effective and safe 
and useful. And it will show us that not every "liber- 
ated capacity" is really liberated. "What will he do with 
it?" How will it affect the other race? How much 
revolution will it breed? These are some of the ques- 
tions brought out by a practical psychology of peoples. 
True it is that liberated capacities of our kind of folk, 
folk with whom we can, sooner or later, associate on a 
basis of social and biological equality, will really en- 
hance our freedom. But how can there be normal liber- 
ated capacities in a race occupying an inferior social 
status and with no hope of raising it to terms of equality 
with a superior race? Idealism cannot dare to dispense 
with biological and psychological reality. The natural 
man must precede and condition the spiritual man. 

VI. Existing Tendencies. On p. 32 our author makes 

132 Eace SMbottKg in tbt %outb 

the usual statement that, if it is hard to convict a white 
man of murdering a negro, it will be hard to convict a 
white man of murdering one of his own color. In 
Mississippi, South Carolina and other Southern states 
there are clear indications of a growing regard for the 
lives of white men: for instance, notice the conviction 
of Smith, a wealthy man of Lowndes County, Missis- 
sippi, despite a decidedly good showing of insanity by 
the defendant Note also the conviction of the Coopers 
in Tennessee for the killing of Senator Carmack. The 
tendency Mr. Murphy speaks of probably exists, but 
with the growing solidarity of the whites and the grow- 
ing antagonism between the races, it is not impossible 
that the whites will evolve a high system of racial justice 
and morality that shall not apply at all closely to the 
negroes. There are examples in Greece and Rome of 
that sort of thing. At any rate, may not Mr. Murphy 
be assuming tendencies without sufficient regard to all 
the facts?* 

On p. 105 our author assumes that the negroes are 
following their leaders better than they used to. This 
statement is by no means self -evidently true to the or- 
dinary observer. There is a conspicuous loss of negro 
leadership in politics; negro leaders frequently show a 
good deal of jealousy of one another: the attitude of 
very many negroes with reference to Booker Washing- 
ton is still uncertain. But I am not trying to disprove 
Mr. Murphy's statement. I only want to register a 
warning against accepting his opinion too readily. 

* Of course I agree most heartily with Mr. Murphy in his high 
regard for the sacredness of every human life; but I am not pre- 
pared to argue that disregard of negro rights will inevitably lead 
to depreciation of the white men's rights. Logically, it ought ; actu- 
ally, it may not 

''€bt 15a0i0 of 2l$ttntimtf 133 

p. 188. "The South is at home within the land/'— I 
wish this could be assumed; but I should have to say 
that the statement should be put thus: "The South is 
as much at home within the land as could be expected 
under existing circumstances, and as much so as any 
other people would be under the same circumstances.'' 

On p. 221 Mr. Murphy contends that democracy is 
enforcing equality of rights everywhere. I wish he 
would give instances. True, the cliisses are being com- 
pelled to free the masses in all homogeneous nations. 
But we are holding Filipinos and Porto Ricans with a 
pretty close rein, and tightening the reins on the latter. 
"Might till right is ready" still seems to be good policy. 
In South Africa the mother country is about to let the 
white colonists manage the natives as seems best to the 
dominant race. Democracy is gaining among uniracial 
peoples, and showing a tendency to gain among people 
who are overwhelmingly in the majority as compared 
with their conquerers, and at the same time show some 
capacity for self-government that will not seriously in- 
terfere with the weal of the dominant race (India). 
Even in these last cases, we cannot argue as if they were 
similar to the Southern problem, where the whites are 
the "nation." 

P. 228. Mr. Murphy holds that the disfranchisement 
of ail negroes is not the prevailing tendency. — ^How 
about Mississippi and South Carolina, for example? 
And in Mr. Murphy's own state of Alabama, dbes he 
find that the common people, who settle "tendencies," 
want any negroes to vote? 

On p. 23 1 we are told that the dilemma is this : De- 
velopment or repression? Many of us put it thus: 
Development somewhere else or a certain degree of 
necessary repression here? Nowhere does it seem to 

134 Bace SMbonotji in tbt %otttb 

enter Mr. Murphy's mind that his rather contemptuous 
dismissal of all schemes of negro colonization is pos- 
sibly a form of closing the door of hope in the negro's 

VII. Data Wanted. On p. 6i we are told that the 
morality of the negro women has moved forward. This 
is probably true, if what is meant is this : there are more 
virtuous negro women in proportion to the population 
than there were twenty-five years ago. Very many 
Southerners do not believe this last statement; could 
they be convinced of its truth by an impartial investiga- 
tion of conditions, the cause of the negro would be 
helped in the South. Many claim that prostitution has 
increased more than concubinage has decreased. 

P. 64 note. We are warned against accepting census 
inferences to the effect that negroes are going out of 
the higher grade of manual arts. Mr. Murphy thinks 
that many, for example, who leave barber shops go to 
carpenter benches, etc. Then there ought to be more 
carpenters. The figures ought to show correlative com- 
pensation. Perhaps they do. It would be interesting 
to have, say, one hundred cases of the kind mentioned 
by our author. But the statement itself will be warmly 
questioned if it is to be put forward as a generalization. 

P. 97. Blending with whites not so common. — Here 
again the facts are hard to gather and the interpretation 
very doubtful. Blending may be going on at a greater 
rate in the North, where people are less apt to detect 
negro blood in light mulattoes. It is true, without ques- 
tion, that dislike of negro blood is stronger than it used 
to be and that the whites are more careful in their ob- 
servations of race mixture. 

P. 97. The power of the negro race to "hold its own" 
is increasing. — Now this is one of the very points at 

""Clie TStuHn of aKcenDancp'' 135 

issue, and one of the hardest to decide about. Is it 
wise to make such statements without giving the proof 
or pointing out the data? 

V. Doubtful Interpretation of Doubtful Facts. ( i ) 
We ought all to admire the glow of Mr. Murphy's moral 
indignation. The present writer, for one, believes that 
the South is morally cursed on account of the presence 
of this negro problem. But we gain nothing by making 
doubtful statements about conditions and giving doubt- 
ful interpretations about these "facts." If the following 
statement were improperly used throughout the South it 
would do Mr. Murphy's cause a great deal of harm: 
"He" (the man accused of being "silly about the negro") 
"is struggling to save the ballot from degradation, the 
courts from paralysis, the schools from the touch of an 
ignorant and benumbing controversy, our industries from 
the destitution of crude warfare or depleting irritations, 
the law from injustices which will blight the wholesome 
progress of every class among us, our society itself from 
the reproach that its rights are partial and that its effi- 
ciencies, so far as they may be founded upon its eva- 
sions, are based upon the sands. If to fight against 
these things is to fight for the negro, then there are 
some of us who wish it to be known that we are fighting 
for the negro." 34 f. 

Comment. Most Southerners would reply, and with 
much truth: The ballot is purer than it has ever been 
since the war, but is, of course, "degraded" in the esti- 
mation of people whom we won't allow to vote, because 
we believe that they can never be real citizens; the courts 
are not paralyzed, but becoming more efficient, and espe- 
cially because negroes don't sit on juries — even negroes 
get better justice than they used to, though it is true 
that negroes will be discriminated against so far as they 

136 Eace fSMbonotji in tbt %outb 

seem to endanger white supremacy or the interests of 
the whites as a race; the schools — for the whites — are 
very far from being in a "benumbed" condition, and 
white children are being brought to the schools without 
using compulsory law ; our industries, our laws and other 
things of our civilization are rapidly developing. Yes, 
fighting against negro political disability is fighting "for 
the negro," and such fighting will be resented by the 
average Southerner. True, the better men of the South 
are sorry that the negroes must be discriminated against 
and deprecate all failure of justice in the courts. And 
the higher classes contain not a few men who believe 
such discrimination to be dangerous to morals and the 
whole spiritual life. But, says the average man, we are 
in an abnormal condition and must choose between evils. 
Convince us in a careful, scientific, not dogmatic way 
that the methods we have chosen are not conducive to our 
higher welfare, and we'll try to get better methods. 
But don't tell us to help the negroes develop at our ex- 
pense. We arc willing to develop him so that he will 
remain in the place we put him. If you leave him here 
we are going to be his Providence and do the best we 
can for him without endangering ourselves. And, in 
our judgment, we shall be endangering ourselves if we 
teach the negro that any one of his race, however highly 
developed, is a citizen in the sense that a native-born 
white man is, or a white foreigner whose children may 
at length be able to intermarry with our children. This 
plea of the Southerner may not be valid; but it has a 
closer relation to things as they are and as they are 
bound to be than the implications of the last quoted 
words of Mr. Murphy. Who is to judge between these 
divergent views of fact and interpretation? I should 
say, neither combatant, but those who have investigated 

""Clie I5a0i0 of aKcenHancp'' 137 

the phenomena in the dry light of science. And who 
are they? 

(2) P. 89. Mr. Murphy thinks that race sensitiveness 
has increased because of the following factors: i, com- 
munity of interest; 2, community of suffering; 3, preju- 
dice from without. — Perhaps so, but has he forgotten 
what he said about ^'consciousness of kind" ? Is not that 
becoming spontaneously more acute and more self-con- 
scious? And is not race consciousness — ^pan-teutonism, 
pan-slavism and the like — growing the world over ? Do 
not Caucasians talk about a "yellow peril"? Does not 
the world think far more of race differences than it did 
when the French revolutionists were exhorting about the 
"rights of man" ? A philosopher may not be blamed for 
evolving a set of causes from his reflection upon his 
ordinary experience ; but what the situation needs is facts 
scientifically gathered and scientifically interpreted. 

(3) "The South, in her soul, has no dream, nor no- 
tion, nor imagination, except of a democratic state." 187. 
— ^Right, provided "democratic" means white demo- 

(4) On pp. 188-9 Mr. Murphy tells us about the in- 
grcUitude of the weaker race and the brutality of the 
stronger. Does he mean to imply that the weaker race 
is ungrateful because it is weaker, and the stronger "bru- 
tal" because it is stronger? May not the "ingratitude" 
be negroid and not really what the white man means by 
"ingratitude" ; may not what he calls the "brutality" of 
the whites be something very different, and may not 
real "brutality" among the whites be so rare as to be 
entirely untypical? These questions are not asked in a 
captious spirit, but because I, for one, need light on these 

(5) On p. 238 our author has a passage, too long to 

138 Eace SMbontKg in tbt %otttb 

quote, atx>ut the sinister "education" the negro gets in 
regard to his race from newspaper disparagement, popu- 
lar unfairness and the like. Now all this is due to the 
radical belief in the negro's inferiority — all admit this. 
And what we regard as inferior we finally come to dis- 
like, as James Bryce so well pointed out in the words of 
his quoted above. Will not the "solution" of the prob- 
lem have to take this into account, and can we cure 
esthetic and moral dislike by pointing out the fact that 
it "hurts" the negro? The saints are too few and the 
sinners too many, and the handicap against increasing 
the ranks of the saints is too much for the poor "natural 
man" who may have aspirations in this direction. The 
negro is persona non grata, and thus he will remain to 
the end of time : so says the Southern white man. Can 
one say offhand that he is wrong ? 

IX. Dogmas, (i) In his preface (xvii) Mr. Mur- 
phy contrasts "spurious catholicity of race" with the be- 
littling or denying of "individuality" in other races. — 
Well, says the Southerner, that belittling and denying 
will inevitably go on till the millennium unless we adopt 
the opposing dogma of race catholicity in the only sense 
of the word catholicity that has any hope for the lower 
race — equal social recognition. 

(2) P. 16 f. Education by the ballot vs. public secur- 
ity. — 'Mr. Murphy believes that public security ought 
not to be sacrificed to "education by the ballot" when it 
is negroes that have to be so educated. But will the time 
ever come when the whites are willing to call the negroes 
real citizens? They have never wanted to disenfran- 
chise ignorant white men ; will they ever want to welcome 
the use of the ballot on the part of intelligent negroes in 
considerable numbers? They cannot well help allowing 
a few of them to vote; but those few don't enjoy the 

""C^e TBMi$ of ^ttnnancB'' 139 

process overmuch! The Southerners, not having force 
enough, have invoked craft and the complaisance of the 
United States Supreme Court to nullify in the spirit an 
article of the Constitution of the United States. An 
overwhelming majority of the Southern masses would, 
I believe, repeal the amendment to-morrow if they could, 
though in my judgment the repeal would be inadvisable 
unless accompanied by a new amendment giving the 
negro some sort of racial representation in state and 
federal legislation. The Southern conception of "pub- 
lic security" will have to be profoundly modified by 
stronger arguments than anything Mr. Murphy brings 
forward if the negroes are to be allowed to vote. 

(3) We now come to a dogma of Mr. Murphy's which 
is, perhaps, his favorite, and which appears conspicu- 
ously in print for the first time, so far as I remember. 
I shall give the substance of his contention as gleaned 
from several references in this book: P. 56 — So long 
as the lower race is kept down, so long will fusion con- 
tinue. ... P. 74 — 'Fusion occurs at the lowest levels. 
... P. 76 — The development of the negroes will not 
increase intermarriage, "so far as one can now deter- 
mine." ... P. 94 — Those who think that the educated 
negro will turn from his race to the whites 'Tmow little 
of the tendencies of the negroes and still less of the 
tendencies of education." 

Comment. In the first place the fusion at the lower 
levels is admittedly of an animal nature, a matter of 
sexual convenience, but is by no means peculiar to "lower 
whites." It is probably decreasing more proportionately 
with the lower whites than with better educated whites, 
who ought to be morally better. In some communities 
it is not the lower whites who indulge in habitual con- 
cubinage, but supposedly substantial men, and sometimes 

I40 Eace fSMbonotv in tbt %outb 

educated men. As the prostitute's trade grows concu- 
binage is said to decrease. But, strange as the statement 
may seem to Northern and many Southern ears, not a 
few whites of supposed higher grades have expressed a 
sexual preference for negro or mulatto women, mostly 
the latter. This preference would be much more wide- 
spread, as several persons have explained to me in talk- 
ing about their own experiences, were it not for race 
prejudice, or conscientious scruples, or fear of being ex- 
posed. What I have just said is based on investigation 
into the practices and opinions and preferences of definite 
individuals, and I hope these hints are sufficient to justify 
me in saying that Mr. Murphy's dogma is a tribute to 
his innocence. 

Senator Tillman's belief that some so-called respectable 
whites would marry rich negro women but for the laws 
against miscegenation and fear of the community has, I 
believe, some basis in fact. However that may be, I do 
not think that Mr. Murphy's view ought to be accepted 
without investigation. I am glad that he guards him- 
self by saying, "so far as one can now determine." 

Readers of Kelly Miller and DuBois will find no 
trouble in reading the heart-views of these negro leaders 
about educated negroes "turning to the whites." Of 
course these men would reprehend any turning to whites 
as whites, but they believe that a gentleman or a lady 
anywhere ought to have the right of the "pursuit of 
happiness" in getting a suitable spouse without refer- 
ence to "race, color or previous condition of servitude." 
I may be mistaken, but such is the inference I have been 
compelled to draw. And why should they not think 
this? Is it not natural and self-respecting? If some 
of us were negroes or mulattoes should not we hold the 
same view? Almost every Southerner with whom I 

""C^e TBMit of 9fl(cenDancp'' 141 

have conversed on this subject — and I have talked with 
hundreds of all classes and conditions of life — ^has said 
that in his judgment most of the educated negroes would 
like to have the right to intermarry with whites. This 
belief is probably exaggerated, but it is, in my judg- 
ment, nearer the truth than is Mr. Murphy's opinion. 
However, we know extremely little on this topic. 

I may know little of raciaJ feeling and less of educa- 
tion, but I find that the marriages between Jews and 
Gentiles of my acquaintance occur at the higher rather 
than at the lower levels. The cases are not altogether 
analogous, but, as Mr. Murphy brings the case of Jew 
into the discussion, I am privileged to use it in doubting 
the validity of his opinion. 

(4) P. 166. Our author says that the declining race 
pulls the stronger down, etc. This may be true; but I 
fail to recall instances enough to warrant a ganeraliza- 
tion. It may be that our American kin in Hawaii are 
going down. It may be that we have all gone down 
with the American Indian. But some of us think that, 
no matter what happens to the negro, we Southern white 
people, with God's help, are going up. Doubtless the 
declining race will pull down the stronger if that stronger 
lets it take hold. And doubtless the drowning man 
sometimes drowns his would-be rescuer. But — what is 
the use in multiplying words? The question is one of 
fact. What are the facts of history and experience? 
Mr. Murphy's statement, in the absence of evidence, need 
not be taken to be more than a possible truth. If our 
author will limit the statement to different classes in the 
same nation, or to different races that intermarry, he 
will be at least uttering an opinion that I shall not quarrel 
with. But the white man has a marvelous ability to 

142 Eace fSMbonotn in tbt 9out|) 

get out of the way of a drowning race, whether it be 
Indian or negro 1* 

(5) On page 198 we are informed that society need 
have no relation to negro "rights." This idea is the 
most astonishing of all, especially since it comes from 
a Southerner. Here is the place where the battle wages. 
Has Mr. Murphy any right to end the fight and claim a 
victory without shivering a single lance ? I have already 
touched on this point and cannot discuss it further now. 
The psychology of the white man's mind will show us 
some light some of these days. May those days soon 
come I I must insist, in closing this section, that rpzn's 
liie.mua Lhe assumed to be co nne cted in all the len^ __ 
and. breadth and thidcn^ ^ Q^ IT ^ happy and useful 
civic life of con amor e cooperation is practically impos- 
sible when not based upon social intercourse, or at least 
the hope of it for one's children's children. So says 
the experience of ages. So the Southerner feels when 
he declines to hold open a "door of hope" to the negro 
that will usher him into ultimate hell fire of race strife. 
If there can be healthful political and civic equality with- 
out social equality, give us facts from history, and psy- 
chological and social science, and careful and candid 
observation, in order that we may believe; but do not 
expect us to accept without proof a doctrine that gives 
the lie to our Southern tendencies and our actual experi- 
ences. It may be that Southern people base too much 
on sociality and the family life; but we are hardly will- 
ing to renounce the peculiar genius of our people in 

* I do not deny the moral danger that besets any race that holds 
another in tutelage. And I am unwilling to see any Southern folk 
exposed to this danger, if a way of e8cai>e can be provided. But 
it may be possible for the dominant race to rise — ^though perhaps 
not as high as it mighi—whilt the lower race is "going down." 

''Cl)e TSMi$ of a0cenDancp'' 143 

associating all ''rights" with social rights, just at a time 
when race consciousness is awakening the world over, 
and when men are calling for purer and more conserva- 
tive family life. 


I. Democratic Idealism. On page 9 we are told that 
our democracy insists that ''class as class shall never 
rule." On p. 232 Mr. Murphy speaks of the negro as 
a "new class that may hold the balance of power." On 
page 235 occurs the expression : "Restrictions shall have 
no stigma of class." Pp. 240 and 241 speak of the train- 
ing of the "people" in a sense that makes the word in- 
clude the negro. Page 236 reminds one of the true, old- 
fashioned abolition fervor. If the negro's permanent 
acceptance of a low status be the condition of peace, 
"then we had better have something less than peace." 
The absence of "manhood" is more dangerous than racial 

Comment. Is the negro a "class" ? And do the demo- 
cratic arguments about class touch the subject in any 
way? Do Southerners show any disposition to injure 
"classes"? Our author (and the old but receding North- 
em sentiment) fails to see that the negro is not treated 
as a class at the South, but as a race — a very different 
thing. Orthodox statements about democracy refer to 
homc^eneous or at least to uniracial situations; or, if 
they did not in the past, they are learning to do so to-day. 
No Southerner would deny Mr. Murphy's contentions 
about democracy versus aristocracy. Racial distinctions 
are very different things from superficial castes made by 
social or economic distinctions. The former have a bio- 

144 Bate i)tt|)0D0£p in tbt %otttb 

logical basis. If we agree th at Grt4 maf1<^ of <^"^ ^^^ 
the nations to dwell upon the fac^ of the earth, we 
must also admit that he ''set the bbunds of their hab^- 
j-gjjrfcixc^ And if unassimilable types stray away or are 
taken away, they introduce discord into the course of 
nature. This discord is not necessarily cured by talking 
and acting as if the whites were a favored class of a 
homogeneous population and the negroes another class! 
Northerners f^entr^ ^y h^Y** always t^nHi*H Iq t hink of 
negroes as md ividuals. and therefore cannot unders^nd 
the^mass^psy^ihQlogy jof . tte^ in ani not mis- 

taken, modem social science is more and more taking the 
Southern point of view, especially when dealing with 
national life. 

Referring to Mr. Murphy's last statement, which is 
really founded on those immediately preceding it, I may 
say that to the Southern negro it may be true that ab- 
sence of manhood may be worse than racial disturbance ; 
but to the white Southerner it may be that absence of 
manhood among the negroes is not so bad as racial dis- 
turbance! At any rate, it is a peculiarity of the typical 
Northern view that it has only two horns to its "lemma." 
Now doubtless the true dilemma, as the word indicates, 
has but two alternatives; so let us say that we may be 
dealing with a trilemma or a polylemma. The either-or 
and versus attitude is hardly scientific in this connection. 
Why should we have to choose between loss of manhood 
and fear of racial dista^bance? The "solution" cham- 
pioned by I^f[^^SO" ^*d Li^^^^r (colonization of ne- 
groes) may prevent either of the fatal results that Mr. 
Murphy deprecates. And there may be other alterna- 
tives not yet mentioned. Let's find them out! 

II. "Out of Touch/' — ^Just a few references to show 
that Mr. Murphy is sometimes out of touch with "his 

""Clie TBMin of ^ttntmntf^ 145 

people," as I suppose he would call most Southerners. 
P. 58 — "It soon seems to be incredible to us that any- 
one could have ever hoped to rebuild the South as a 
permanent institutional exception to all that has been 
known and proved of human nature and of human so- 
cieties . . . promote the self-respect of one race by 
weakening the self-respect of the other." Of whom does 
Mr. Murphy speak? Most Southerners think that the 
South, rather than the abstract advocates of "human 
rights," had the "straight of it" as to practical knowledge 
of human institutions. The South believed that the sud- 
den freeing and enfranchisement of millions of slaves 
of an alien race was an act contradictory of all human 
experience and institutions. Mr. Murphy, in spite of 
his lack of s}mipathy with the sudden enfranchisement 
of the negroes, is still thinking of the negroes as a class 
of citizens, whereas the South does not regard them as 
true citizens at all! And the better men of the South 
interfere with the negro's self-respect only in the spirit 
of self-protection. 

Southerners take "snapshot judgment" on the negro's 
"inadequacies," says Mr. Murphy (p. 236). But does 
Mr. Murphy help to eradicate that tendency by himself 
pronouncing summary judgment on Southern leaders like 
Tillman and Vardaman ? I do not care for such leaders 
in a scientific consideration of the negro question, but I 
hope that I understand them better than Mr. Murphy 
does, and I am anxious that they may have the credit 
for some degree of sincerity and other qualities that I 
believe them to possess. These Southern leaders could 
not acquire so much power did they not represent the 
people's views in large measure. In attributing their 
hostility to negro suffrage only to snap judgment on the 
negro's inadequacy, Mr. Murphy is omdemning the de- 

146 Eace SMboniH^ in tbt %outb 

fensible opinion of perhaps a large majority of the com- 
mon folk of the South. 

We are informed on p. 237 that it is not right to dis- 
franchise a people on the ground of their ignorance and 
then give them no schools. — Assuredly such a procedure 
would be pernicious. But who says that the negroes 
were disfranchised on the ground of their ignorance 
alone? Few Southerners wish to disfranchise illiterate 
or ignorant white men. Indeed, great ingenuity has been 
exercised in trying to retain the franchise for such men. 
Thfi npgfn is not a closs, but a race. The classes can 
iOSsimilated in the South : the races cannot. Here is th e 
^crux ofthe race question. 


I. Methods and Processes. I have not time to go 
further into the criticism of the book. Besides, I have 
already discussed its leading ideas and attitudes. For 
the rest I must content myself with giving a list of refer- 
ences under the above heading and the next, and then a 
few final hints that must take the place of comment. 

References: xx, xxi, 48, 53, 79, 103, iii, 159 f, 165, 
166, 170, 209, 213, 243. 

II. Results: 11, 12, 113, 146, 218, 222, 241, 248. 

On page 241, where Mr. Murphy admits that Southern 
industrial and commercial progress will never equal that 
of other sections if the negroes stay with us, he prac- 
tically gives up the fight. Does he suppose that South- 
erners are going to rest content with a future less than 
the best that man can have? And does he think that 
commercial backwardness wilt not be accompanied with 

''Ctie TSatit of 2l»tenttmtf' 147 

other forms of maldevelopment ? Some may be willing 
to be partially damned for their black brethren's sake. 
Not so most of us. If we cannot be great in the presence 
of the negro, we will surely get rid of him, God helping 
us, through the help of our country and the rest of the 
civilized world. The best white Southerners want the 
negro to get all the development that he can get, but not 
at their expense. He shall not keep us down, they say. 
We 2vill not be a less-favored portion of this country. 
We must come into our heritage, Africans to the con- 
trary notwithstanding. As things are now (as we have 
already said) our finer spirits often want to get away 
from it all, and our rougher spirits often want to make 
the negro get out of it all. When it comes to a "show- 
down," if that should have to come, the plan of the 
rougher ones will probably be the one adopted. But shall 
we rest supinely and wait for conflict, or for that second- 
rate future that Mr. Murphy is self-sacrificing enough 
to be willing for us to have ? There is a more excellent 
way: T^t nc q^granJTi> ^ natjyn-wi dc, a world-wide co- 

operative and scientific study of this neg ro problem, and 
— *••■ I .^^^,,„._^ II — ■——«.- - ■ .^^ -~-~^-^, - „ ^ ^^ ^ ^^ ^^^^^■,-^--^j— ^— ^t— — ^^— ^^-^— — ^ 

to help and to get themselves into trim for acquiescence 
in the. results that the best human wisdom rp?Y offfrv 

It is a sin against Goa and a' crime against man to 
leave this largest of human problems in the hands of 
"people generally," without making a national scientific 
eflfort to rid ourselves of this body of death in life that 
so fearfully besets us. What docs it avail to have sci- 
ence and education when we fail to apply them to the 
real problems of life that are close to the heart of a 
people's safety and peace and development? 

Finally let me say that, in spite of my earnest belief 

148 Race DnboOoxp in tbt ftoutd 

that Mr. Murphy has not successfully seized some of the 
most fundamental psychological aspects of the race ques- 
tion, I trust that our people, North and South, will ever 
honor men of his splendid type of patriotism and Chris- 
tianity and philosophic largeness of mind. 




(From Neale's Monthly for August, 1913.) 


Four years ago the publishers of "The Southerner" 
requested a number of Southern men, including myself, 
to give their opinion of the fitness of the book for dis- 
tribution in the South. This request was made because, 
it was said, a public-spirited gentleman wished to make 
the book more widely known in the Southern states, pro- 
vided it were acceptable there. The novel, which had 
already appeared as a serial in the Atlantic Monthly, had 
excited much favorable comment in sections other than 
Southern as a book of the times and of the South. 

Having lived the greater part of ten years in the North, 
— ^although Southern bom and bred, and consequently 
sympathetic toward both Southern sentiment and the new 
nationalism that was arising in the secession states, — 
and being a professed student of Southern questions, 
especially the negro problem, I went to the book with 
the expectation of finding sometliing I could praise gen- 
erously. To my surprise, I found that Nicholas Worth, 
the ostensible author, felt intellectually at home only in 
the North, and especially in Boston; that he ridiculed 
the Confederate Veterans and the Daughters of the Con- 
federacy ; that he failed to see any sense in Southern sen- 


I50 Race SHtbohote in tbt ftoutd 

sitiveness with regard to the negro question, and that 
he seemed to mention religious life at the South only to 
sneer at it 

As I read Nicholas Worth's wholesale charges of in- 
sincerity and lack of frankness on the part of Southern 
political leaders, and noted the indications of his belief 
that the South was under the dominion of the "dead 
hand," I thought to myself : Even granting that the atti- 
tude and strictures of Nicholas Worth, schoolmaster, 
politician, and reformer, are well founded, his book is 
evidently not one to be read in the South, where rever- 
ence for the past and hero-worship now find no serious 
difficulty in aligning themselves with industrial progres- 
siveness and religious and political independence. 

I myself had spent several college years as an agnos- 
tic ; I had bolted the Democratic nomination for governor 
of South Carolina, not having perceived the real mean- 
ing of Tillman's apparent violence and ruthless attacks 
on those whom I had been taught to revere; yet it had 
never occurred to me that the Confederate Veterans and 
the Daughters of the Confederacy, — though individuals 
among them sometimes had exhibited "amusing" yet 
understandable and pardonable exaggerations and excess 
of sentimentality, — ^were legitimate objects of ridicule, 
even to one like myself, whose life and training had given 
him perspective, and who was supposed to have some 
sense of humor. 

Wishing to discourage the circulation of the book as a 
philanthropic free tonic for Southerners, I wrote the re- 
view for tfie publishers (in 1909), and summed up my 
criticism substantially as follows: 

I. The author of "The Southerner" is not a South- 
erner of the spirit, whatever he may be of the flesh. 
There is something of North Carolina and something of 

Massachusetts in his attitude, but none of that all-inclu- 
sive Americanism that alone is able to write about the 
South with sympathy of the heart yet with balanced 
critical discrimination. 

2. When he compares North and South, as he often 
does, the South always gets the worst of it. He professes 
to appreciate evanescent Southern charm and romance; 
but in the background of his thoughts one feels sure of 
the ever-ready comparison between a Southern medieval 
barbarism on the one hand and the solid merit of an 
up-to-date Northern civilization on the other. 

3. There seems to be lack of sympathy for the South- 
em temperament, — perhaps due to a proselyte's disgust 
felt for a forsaken cult. This possibly explains the au- 
thor's talk about the "humor" of Southern traits and 
situations and his attitude as 'n>usiness" intellectuel, — ^an 
attitude not uncommon in "New England-educated" 
Southerners living in New York. 

4. Being out of sympathy with spiritual Southemism, 
he fails to do justice to the social and institutional life 
of the South. 

5. His fundamental failure in part is due to a wrong 
view of the negro question. Neither the "business" view 
nor that of abstract humanitarianism, nor a combination 
of both, will ever enable anyone to understand the 
Southern white man's attitude toward the negro. 

After sending my opinion of the book to the publishers 
I heard rumors to the effect that the real writer of the 
novel was a man who had the public ear to quite a degree. 
I could but regret the ostensible author's failure to under- 
stand both the plain people of the South and their old 
leaders, and still hope that, whoever he may be, the real 
author will yet disavow sympathy with the sad misun- 

152 Bate fl)tti)oDo£p in tbt %ovttb 

derstanding of the South on the part of "Nicholas 

I shall not discuss the ethics of anonymity in this par- 
ticular case. The reputed author, Mr. Walter Hines 
Page, has not disavowed his responsibility for the book. 
It therefore challenges attention on account of its alleged 
representativeness and because the author is generally 
supposed to be the American ambassador to Great Brit- 
ain. The real author's conscious attitude may be entirely 
commendable: I assume it to be so. But my contention 
is with Nicholas Worth, who assumes to set forth the 
true inwardness of the Southern situation. 

As a Southerner, — who is all the more an American 
because he is a Southerner,— I feel free to make this 
review count for the advancement of a large cause that 
all good men should wish to further, a proper under- 
standing of the South and the negro question ; hence, if 
for no other reason, I desire to keep clear of even the 
appearance of sectional rancor and self-conscious "smart" 
criticism. Moreover, personally I am unprogressive 
enough to hold fast to faith in the amenities of criticism 
and the courtesies of debate. 


The story runs somewhat as follows: 

Nicholas Worth III is ten years of age when the tide 
of civil war begins to be felt at Milworth, a little cotton- 
mill town in North Carolina. His father and his grand- 
father are Union men. 

Nicholas recounts various experiences of his boyhood : 
the camp meeting, where the old "hymn-h'ister" is said 

""Ciie %outlitmtt^ 153 

to have "bawled along the corduroy tune," seeing "a vis- 
ion of the wicked burning in Hell," whereat "he rejoiced, 
and he quickened his pace somewhat, for he had intima- 
tions of the ecstasy that was to overcome him an hour 
later" ; and where the Reverend Mr. Babb selected as his 
text a "sulphurous sentence," after which he "preached 
and spat himself into a spasm," etc. ; the Ku Klux Klan ; 
the private school "for the flower of the South," wherein 
Nicholas fought a boy who insulted him because the 
father of Nicholas was not a colonel, and where he played 
"the game of Mathematics, Latin, and the Honour of a 
Gentleman — not a bad game for youth whether in that 
cloistered school or in the world." (p. 53.) One scene of 
these boyhood days pictures the frantic conduct of Con- 
federate veterans as they ecstatically kiss a bust of Stone- 
wall Jackson that had been unveiled. Later Worth un- 
dergoes "effervescence of spirit" when he enters a de- 
nominational college. 

The next step is Harvard University, where our hero 
finds his true "intellectual home," unfavorably contrasts 
Adelaide Cooley, of "orderly mind" but guiltless of emo- 
tions, with his "slow" and "restful" Cousin Margaret, 
who figures as the typical Southern girl. Nicholas has 
fun with Northern misconceptions of Uncle Remus and 
the like; "exchanges confidences" with a colored stu- 
dent in regard to a lecturer's "Bostonian intonations"; 
gives a capital illustration of the fatuous lionizing of a 
negro student, and thinks he finds his religious doubts 
settled on a basis free from the Methodist-Baptist-Pres- 
byterian-Episcopalian conservatism. After graduation 
he is offered a place as teacher in Harvard, but decides 
to go back to his "own" people, despite his intellectual 
preference for the frank and free North. 

In Marlborough, his state's capital, — which he charac- 

154 Bate flDttdoDosp in tde %ottib 

terizes as the "dullest settlement of English-speaking 
people" on the face of the earth, — he meets Professor 
"Billy" Bain, who is an advanced exponent of industrial 
and home-making education. They become great friends 
right away on account of their mutual desire to vitalize 
Southern education ; but Cousin Margaret closes chapter 
ten with her plaintive refrain, to be repeated in substance 
at the end of several other chapters : "Dear Cousin, you 
have lived away from us so long that you may forget 
our own people. You won't, will you ?" 

The school at "Energetic Edinboro" is given to 
Nicholas. He applies Professor Billy's practical prin- 
ciples (rather than Harvard's), and as superintendent 
works for both the white and the negro schools. Here 
his troubles begin. He gets a principal for the negro 
school, "Professor" Marshall, from Hampton, after 
vainly trying to obtain one from the negro college man- 
aged by the white Snodders, — Northerners that "grov- 
eled in martyrdom," "neglected and tactless foreigners 
in a strange land." 

Worth's version of Southern life, as expressed by Cap- 
tain Bob, the Republican boss, is characteristic of the 
book : "We are bom and baptized and grow up and live 
and eat and think and vote and swear and drink and go 
to hell — ^all by formulas. You've got to keep to the right 
formula." But Nicholas tries to live up to the spirit of 
his grandfather, who used to say to him, "Widen your 

Consequently Nicholas eschews narrow things, and 
therefore declines to make a speech on Jefferson Davis. 
He says to himself: That way lies ruinous limitation! 
Indeed, seeing Margaret the center of wild Confederate 
enthusiasm, he resolves to save her from the "shame." 
(i6i.) Margaret, however, alienates him still more by 

"Cfte %ouibttntt^ is 5 

saving some Confederate relics from the burning of St. 
Peter's Church, barely escaping with her life. The lack 
of ''patriotic" sympathy between the young people be- 
comes manifest. And, — though Margaret's soft remon- 
strances are heard for a few times, and though she 
praises him warmly for his educational activity, — she 
drops out of the story, to give place to the English- 
educated Louise Caldwell, who is "advanced" in her 
views of patriotism, and keeps away from the "senti- 
mental" Daughters of the Confederacy and the "beg- 
garly" Confederate Veterans. (182.) 

Election time grows near. Colonel Stringweather has 
Thomas Carter Warren nominated. Warren is engaged 
to Nicholas Worth's sister Barbara, but she breaks the 
engagement when she sees that a little mulatto girl, 
Lissa's child, is the living image of Tom Warren, and 
finds corroborating evidence of Tom's — indiscretion. 
Warren is said to be a poor candidate because he "does 
not see the absurdities of the ludicrous life all about 
him." (187.) 

The Education Club founded by Bain and Worth, find- 
ing that the Democratic bosses will not champion the 
club's projected educational reforms, decides to organ- 
ize a bolt and to have their own man put up for state 
superintendent of education in place of a "broken-down 
Baptist minister," who had been nominated by the Demo- 
crats. Nicholas is chosen as Independent candidate, and 
is "endorsed" by the Populist-Republican coalition. 

At first he finds it hard to reach the people in his 
canvass. Negroes form the greater part of his audience, 
and Worth is belabored by the Democratic organ, — The 
White Man. All sorts of charges, — ^social equality with 
the negroes, sleeping in negro houses, etc., — are urged 
against him. It is insinuated that Lissa's daughter owes 

156 Bate SHtbonotjf in tde %ottib 

paternity to him. But at length Warren compels his 
managers to drop their scurrilous tactics by avowing his 
own responsibility for the mulatto child. 

In his campaign Worth insists on fairness as to negro 
suffrage, and tells the negro that the white man has "got 
to" give him education, etc. To his white associates he 
insists that there is no negro problem, but that it is 
simply a "social and industrial condition." ( P. 52. ) His 
canvass seems to be succeeding, when a catastrophe oc- 
curs in the killing of Colonel Stringweather by a negro. 
This occurrence strengthens the prejudice against 
Worth's "too much nigger" candidacy. 

When election day is over Worth's friends believe that 
he has been elected, but claim that the election has been 
turned against him through intimidation and fraud, be- 
cause men of the Democratic party feel justified in doing 
anything to defeat a man who had sat at table with 
negroes at Harvard, and who, they alleged, wished to 
give negroes such treatment as would soon make them 
think themselves on an equality with white people. 
Writes Nicholas : "One paper published this inquiry ad- 
dressed to me in 'sorrowful emphasis': 'Would you 
marry your daughter to a nigger ?' and it added : 'Until 
the gentleman answers that test question we need not 
pay more attention to what he says.* " The death of 
Stringweather and a race riot on election day had of 
course been attributed to Worth's activity on behalf of 
negro rights and privileges. 

Having resigned his professorship because of his can- 
didacy. Worth is at first inclined to consider the promise 
of some of his friends the enemy to get a consulship in 
Greece for him, but his brother Charles and his friend, 
young Caldwell, persuade him that the Democrats are 
simply trying to get him out of the country. He there- 

**Cftc %otttbtmtt^ 157 

fore decides to remain, write the history of his common- 
wealth, and become a "builder" of the society that is to 

Nicholas finds it hard to write history with his fond 
mother near to interrupt him, and at times he has serious 
doubts whether or not he can remain in a land where 
there must be ''silence on subjects of serious concern." 
Nevertheless, his decision to stay remains unaltered. 

Being invited to Boston, he delivers an address and 
some conversational speeches in which he advocates 
building Southern education on cotton; accuses North- 
erners of a certain tjrpe of "drawing the color line" ; ex- 
presses his desire to escape the shadow "Southerner," 
and so on. After enlightening Northern audiences and 
individuals in this way he goes South in haste to find 
his sweetheart, Louise Caldwell, whose freedom from 
sentimental Southern patriotism enables her easily to 
take the place of "willing" Margaret in Worth's emanci- 
pated heart. 

The last significant episode of the novel is the descrip- 
tion of an interview between Nicholas and Lissa's daugh- 
ter, who had been educated North by her father, had 
passed for a white girl, had married a white captain of 
industry at Pittsburgh, and had now come South to 
visit the scenes of her childhood. 

The book closes with indications that Nicholas Worth 
IV is a chip of the old block and will devote himself to 
the "uplift" of the people of his state. 


The book is primarily a tract for the times, only 
secondarily a novel. Hence we need spend no time on 

158 Mate DrtboDoxp in tbt %otttb 

literary criticism. The candid reviewer, however, will 
gladly admit that the author has given us some vivid 
touches of felicitous description and genial humor, 
despite the generally sarcastic sermons and rather forced 
and somber hopefulness of the story. 

In trying to get at the "message" of the book we are 
helped by this peculiarity that marks it : the author evi- 
dently regards traditional Southemism as a sort of social 
disease. Since Nicholas Worth so interprets the South- 
em situation, I propose that we take up the case in de- 
tail, first considering the symptoms, and then passing on 
to diagnosis, causation, prognosis, and treatment. 

First of all, let us notice the religious symptoms. 
Worth seems to hold that the close association of religion 
with education, the narrow and striving denominational- 
ism, the over-great prayerfulness ("It seemed ill-bred 
not to pray." — ^p. 65), the tendency to suppress honest 
doubt, the Sabbatarianism ("no train ran ... on the 
Sabbath, — ^not so long as the firm of Suggs and Babb 
did business for the Lord." p. 410), are symptoms of 
bad circulation of intellectual blood. However, his pic- 
tures of Southern religion are not typical, so far as my 
experience goes. Making "Christian character" the aim 
of education may be claimed as a Southern symptom; 
but that is not universally regarded by the world, — in 
England, for instance, — ^as in any sense a "retarded" 
piece of mentality. 

During the 'seventies in South Carolina "sulphurous 
sermons" were so uncommon that we boys used to watch 
out for them with interest : we called them "H. and D. 
[Hell and Damnation] sermons." In our section relig- 
ion was not characteristically terrifying; ministers were 
not hypocrites like Worth's spiritual guides, Babb and 

""Ctie ftoutdentet'' 159 

Suggs. Granting that the South tried to conserve the "old 
time religion," we may note that even German Biblical 
criticism is becoming more conservative ! The evangeli- 
cal religious conservatism of the South, though in part 
a sign of slow development, is partly temperamental ; but 
it may yet serve a useful purpose in slowing down the 
speed of an overhasty liberalism that threatens to throw 
out the baby with the bath water. Nor is it absolutely 
necessary that Southern religion should follow exactly 
the New England lines of development. Perhaps we pre- 
fer Old England lines with American improvements. 

Next we look into the "patriotic" symptoms of South- 
emism. Surely Worth cannot tell us, — tell us, who 
know, — ^that the scene of the kissing of Jackson's effigy 
was a common thing in the South. But, suppose it had 
been; should temperamental Southern emotionalism be 
judged by Professor Worth's analytic intellectualism ? 
Besides, I have heard distinguished Northern visitors 
say that they wished they could see the same enthusiasm 
at reunions of Northern soldiers as they witness during 
the gathering of Confederate veterans. Even though a 
supposed student of social character may not be "intel- 
lectually at home" in the South as he is in Boston, I call 
upon our author as one who would write for the world 
not to paint Southern scenes as "s)anptoms" of disorder, 
when they are really a part of that Southern "openness" 
and "closeness to the soil" that he professes to admire. 
Would he have Southern sentiment take on the dry rot 
of intellectual aloofness? 

The apparent political symptoms are more serious. 
Worth seems to wish to give the impression that certain 
tricks of the political trade are peculiar to the South. 
Are all the repressions and suppressions Southern? 

i6o Race SMbotMKB in tbt %ottib 

Have there been no "zones of silence" with regard to the 
true inwardness of the tariff, the trusts, the financial 
system and the like ? Is our "Southerner" sure that even 
a small percentage of the "colonels" were hypocrites, 
and that they did not believe what they said with regard 
to "social equality," "negro competition," and so forth? 
The "colonels" were often leaders at the South because 
of their training in public affairs, their social position, 
and the like. If Worth claims that certain kinds of 
"politics" are a disease, I agree with him. But we 
Southerners have a right to our own peculiar form of the 
disease without having our leaders specially stigmatized 
as "insincere" and "hypocritical." 

I pass over such alleged symptoms as the "oratorical 
habit." Fashions change in oratory as in other things. 
Southern college boys of to-day do not often "orate" in 
the set terms of their fathers. Southerners will always 
be orators, let us hope ; that is one of their talents. The 
oratory of the political stump is not, I assert, half so 
bad as the hypocrisies of secret coteries and committees 
in high places remote from the public gaze. "Zones of 
silence" are to be deprecated in a democracy, but let us 
push publicity all along the line, and not waste so much 
time belaboring the "oratorical habit," which will doubt- 
less become less blatant and more insidious as the "higher 
civilization" of which Nicholas Worth is a prophet per- 
meates the South. 

In describing Southern women Worth conveys the 
impression that they are characteristically languorous 
and helpless beings. If they were, that condition would 
be a transient symptom, due to historical and climatic 
causes, not a disease of character. Worth knows, of 
course, or should know, that helpless types have always 

**Cftc ^outtientet'' i6i 

been exceptions, and that Southern women have risen to 
every occasion that they have had to face. 

When we come to the racial complex of symptoms the 
pathologic taint appears. Indeed, whenever religion and 
politics touch racial issues the one seems to forget the 
universality of the gospel message and the other is silent 
about the equal rights of man, "no taxation without rep- 
resentation," and the other democratic doctrines of the 

Although "Nicholas Worth" seems to look askance 
on sentiment in love and patriotism, and shows esthetic 
disgust at such terms as "beauty" and "chivalry" and all 
rotund oratorical utterances, even he must agree with us 
that race-hatred, the cry "This is a white man's coun- 
try," the fear of "negro domination," the dread of the 
assumption of "social equality" by the negroes, are the 
real symptoms of a deep-lying trouble. Why all this 
"praetematural suspicion" (as Carlyle would call it)? 
Why this seeming anesthesia with regard to intellectual 
and political freedom for all men and this hyperesthesia 
with regard to anything that even remotely touches the 
negro? I cannot agree with one of the characters in the 
story that "nobody cares a damn about the nigger," be- 
cause the whole mentality of the Southern whites,— con- 
sciousness, subconsciousness, and "superconsciousness," 
— necessarily is full of racial anxiety (angst). Here is 
the "ps)rchopathic complex" that disturbs Southern life. 

Perhaps we should now attempt a diagnosis of such 
"Southemism" as is held to be pathological, guided by 
our knowledge of the crucial symptoms. "Professional" 
Southemism is simply one type of attack. When a poli- 
tician talks of the "maudlin craze for education" he is, 
consciously or unconsciously, thinking of negro "higher" 
education. All the apparent limitations of democracy 

1 62 laace fl>rti)oliO£p in tbt %outi) 

and of Christianity in the South are connected with the 
"nigger" complex of symptoms one way or another. 

I judge that Worth has attempted a partial diagnosis 
from the following statements of his: ghosts of dead 
commanders [hallucinations of the spiritual eye?] ; rigid 
orthodoxy of formulas [cataleptic condition?] ; zones of 
silence with regard to religion and politics, etc. [hysteric 
zones of anesthesia?] ; negro-in- America form of insan- 
ity [monomaniacal anxiety ?] ; all history a perversion 
or a suppression [suppressed complexes of thought and 
feeling that the patient is unwilling to face ?] ; fear on 
one subject [anxiety complex?]; double life [a false, 
"split-ofF" personality of hysteria?] ; etc Now, I think 
that Worth on the whole is disposed to diagnosticate the 
case as one of hysteria. Let us be careful, though. The 
line between social health and social disease is hard to 
draw, and social hysteria is an obscure, protean thing 
that requires careful investigation. Some of the freak- 
ish conduct of the patient ("Professional" Southemism) 
evidently makes our author suspect a guileful form of 
professional hysteria. It is said that Charcot had some 
patients of that kind in Paris. 

On the whole, I am inclined to think that the case is 
one of incipient hysteria. "Nicholas Worth" would ad- 
mit that much, and would perhaps go much further. He 
would agree, I hope, that there is nothing deeply wrong 
with the patient's nervous system, but that the trouble is 
one of stress and strain of life. Indeed, he calls it "de- 
fensive," and that term is one much associated with 
hysteria by many savants of the day. A defensive re- 
action ! Well, perhaps we had better now go on to study 
the cause of the trouble, — the etiology of the case. 

The author's list of causes : "error of slavery" ; "crime 
of secession" [Grandfather Worth]; "mediaevalism" ; 

"^Cfte %outi)eniet'' 163 

"poverty" ; "forced emigration" of "strong men" from 
the South ; "killing" of the "working habits" by slavery ; 
"rule of the dead"; the "old false position," — all these 
would be but secondary causes if they all existed. Worth 
incidentally has mentioned the true causes, — "dormant 
race-hatred," "people fear what they do not know"; 
"three htmdred tragedies" [mulattoes in an audience]; 
the mulatto woman who "passed as white." The South 
is suffering from the threat of a divided personality, a 
form of hysteria in which a diseased self, — ^accompanied 
by a group of symptoms that the patient will not or 
dares not face, — tends to usurp the place of the true 
personality. The abnormal, freakish self tmconsciously 
disguises the real cause of its own appearance. So in 
the South the true self is democratic and Christian and 
humanitarian; but emotional race politics sometimes 
causes the onlooker to mistake the race-hatred simula- 
crum of the South for the real Southern personality. 

A fear of "amalgamation" due to instinctive aware- 
ness of the terrible power of easily aroused and easily 
satisfied sex passion often masquerades as a belief in 
Anglo-Saxon civilization, or in some other "institution" 
that needs to be "preserved." But Southern men know, 
— and the mulatto tragedies testify to this knowledge, — 
that esthetic dislike of race-mixture has not defended 
race purity in the South; and they believe that race- 
prejudice, — aye, even race-hatred, — does tend to offer an 
adequate defense. Truly, some of the worst white of- 
fenders against racial purity are most savage against the 
negroes. Lust easily becomes transformed into hate. 
But most Southerners see the danger in the negro situa- 
tion. They believe that legitimation of sexual relations 
between races would set free the flood of mongrelism; 
hence they guard all possible approaches toward any 
sort of social recognition of the negro. Mixed marriages 

1 64 Bate intiioDosp in tbt %out)i 

occur in the North. Light mulattoes *'lose" themselves 
in the white population from time to time. Most North- 
erners seem disinclined to recognize the representative- 
ness of a race, but incline toward treating high-grade 
negroes as individuals only. These are a few of the 
aspects of the racial situation. Only a full study can 
do them justice. 

Southern women, too, know the danger threatening 
white men and youths, as this story testifies. Refined, 
upright Southern gentlemen may utterly disavow sub- 
conscious dread of ''amalgamation" so far as they them- 
selves are concerned; but they admit the danger for 
growing youth and many adult men. When two races 
are thrown together the natural consequence is either 
race mixture or race antagonism. It is a general belief 
in the South that increase of race antagonism has caused 
decrease of race mixture. 

I have said that the true self of the Southern white 
man is democratic and hiunanitarian, — believing in the 
rights of man and in the brotherhood of the spiritual life. 
Yet, in spite of himself, feeling obscurely that all the 
rights of man are as organically related as are the parts of 
the body, the Southern white man instinctively strives to 
keep the negro away from the asstmiption of any rights 
and privileges that might ultimately imply social ming- 
ling and consequent racial mixture. He hopes at least to 
insulate vice as much as possible. History shows that 
race problems are solved by race mixture. Experience 
suggests that all human rights are ultimately social, and 
are based institutionally on the home. The white man 
does not wish to disavow his Christianity and his democ- 
racy; but he feels that there are great instinctive forces 
at work against the purity of his race; he realizes the 
necessity of his apparent inconsistency; he cannot get 

^'Cle %out|entet'' 165 

the world to tinderstand; he ends by elevating "white 
supremacy" into a creed without being able to explain it 
even to himself. 

Now, I do not pretend to say that I have explained 
the case. I am simply studying it, and this is not the 
place for a full treatment of the problem. But I do 
want to insist upon this: the real cause of any patho- 
logical "Southemism" is an abnormal situation, wherein 
a proud and highly endowed race finds itself on the same 
territory with an amiable, dependent, and, perhaps, prom- 
ising people, — who nevertheless cannot be assimilated; 
for the simple reason that human beings have bodies as 
well as souls, and all true assimilation is ultimately based 
on intermarriage. Without biological mixture there is 
friction, antagonism, dominance of one race over the 
other. Science does not seem to advise the mingling of 
two such races. Even if it did, the Teutonic peoples do 
not believe in such mixture. 

So there is unconscious conflict in the white man's 
attitude. He cannot square his racial orthodoxy with his 
democratic and Christian faith. Those of us who are 
sympathetically and yet scientifically studying the negro 
and ourselves hope to show the world the insistent need 
of relieving the white man from his burden of defensive 
inconsistency. Let him that doubts the marvelous and 
insidious power of sexual proximity, free from esthetic 
dislike and free from race prejudice, — let him, I say, 
study the recent development of sex psychology, and he 
will see the unnaturalness of putting two civilizations 
parallel to each other without expecting them to meet in 
fusion or in conflict. And Southerners know, from con- 
versations with Northern leaders, that many of the latter 
fully expect the race problem to be ultimately settled by 
means of race mixture. Hence Southern opposition to 

1 66 Race fl>tti)oDo£p in tiie %outi) 

Northern eflForts in behalf of the negro. Much of it 
seems cruelly unfair. But anxiety studies neither logic 
nor ethics. 

What of the prognosis of this distressing social trou- 
ble? "Nicholas Worth" seems to think that the dying 
out of the "colonels" will settle things. Look around 
and behold the successors of the "colonels." They make 
a much defter use of the race problem than the "colo- 
nels" ever did. The veteran politicians of reconstruction 
times had urgent need to free their section from misrule 
and to keep it freed; the newer political leaders are 
steadily intent on making the negro realize that he can 
never be a real citizen. Nicholas Worth had better call 
back the colonels ! 

The author of "The Southerner" assumes that the 
races will always live together. If the cause of the 
trouble is what Senator John Sharp Williams calls the 
"physical presence of the negro," is not Mr. Worth tak- 
ing a hopeless view of the future? Even now senators 
are elected pledged to work for the striking out or the 
profound modification of the fourteenth and fifteenth 
amendments. The supreme court of the land gives no 
promise to the negro. Discrimination against him, 
legally, economically, and in every other way, proceeds 

But Worth says that we must not expect too much, 
and that we must take a far look ahead. Granted : but 
we must study the forces in operation and ask whither 
they are leading. The American ideal is invincible and 
things must come out right. If the cause of the trouble, 
however, is in the white man's mind, no prognosis of 
this case will be satisfactory that does not deal with that 

Worth assures us that he was silent toward his mother 

"^Cle %out|eniet'' 167 

with regard to matters that would pain her if they were 
discussed. Unless he will help us to remedy our real 
trouble in some way that will reach the ultimate cause, it 
would be better for him to refrain from setting forth 
sarcasms as a basis for a brilliant "cotton" civilization 
in the motherland that produced him. 

The South sees no vision pointed out by a prophet 
who does not love her from the heart. 

My prognosis is this : So far as I can see, the future 
holds no really permanent hope, no matter how much 
educational and material advancement is made, unless 
something can be done to remove the deep anxiety of the 
Southern white man, which is due to the presence of a 
"split-off" self, the defensive self of race prejudice. 
Will Worth's treatment affect that? Let us see. 

Intellectual emancipation, religious toleration and lib- 
erality, shaking off the fetters of provincialism, getting 
rid of worn-out formulas and so on, — all these things 
are coming to pass, even where the influence of Harvard 
is not very evident. The Southern whites are giving the 
negro his dole and are allowing Northerners to spend 
money on him. The great agencies for the distribution 
of money for education are learning to let the Southern- 
ers spend it in their own way. These agencies are learn- 
ing, too, to discriminate between the exploiting South- 
erners on the one hand, who coyly welcome all "Yankee" 
money for the suffering South, and the elect Southerners, 
on the other hand, who despise soft-soaping ways as 
much as they abhor fire-eating. In other words, the 
South, like the rest of the world, is treating herself to 
the newer education, and welcomes all help that is 
straightforward and kindly, and neither grudging nor 

But does Nicholas Worth think that negroes are ap- 

i68 laace fl>rti)0D0£p in tbt %outi) 

preciably nearer equal rights, say the suffrage, than they 
were twenty years ago? Docs he imagine that "rebel- 
lion" against the "generals" and the "colonels" is worth 
talking about? Does he find the youth of the South 
showing a disposition to treat whites and blacks as "a 
people" rather than as two races ? Does he find that the 
ten thousand young white men who have been studying 
the race question under the guidance of Professor Weath- 
erford are likely to advocate the negro's right to the 
suffrage, or that they realize that they have "got to 
[p. 243] do more for the negro"? Worth's recipe of 
education is all right. All social doctors are prescrib- 
ing it. 

But some of us do not wish to base all our education 
on cotton. We want Southern education, industrial and 
other, to continue to be as varied and as free as any 
other education on earth. We intend to stand not one 
pace behind the chiefest of states and peoples. We will 
hold our place in the world's work and in the world's 

And if the negro is in our way, and is the cause of 
all our trouble, we will relieve the situation as best we 
can ; first, for our own sake ( for even Reformer Worth 
must realize that the world knows that the white people 
are the more important part of the Southern popula- 
tion) ; and secondly, for the sake of the negro. 

We need more wide-visioned, practical men down 
South, and we are growing them. In fact, the process 
has never stopped, though circumstances retarded us for 
a time. But Worth and his kind must not prescribe for 
us contempt for Confederate Veterans; for the "senti- 
mental" South; for the Daughters of the Confederacy; 
for oratory; for Christian education; for noble women, 
and for chivalrous men. Such a prescription may not be 

""Cle ^outdentet'' 


too bitter (Professor Nicholas disclaims bitterness) ; but 
it is too sour! 

Even a sour prescription may not be amiss at times 
for some persons; but the "sensitive" South declines to 
take corrosive acid. The proper tonic treatment of the 
South's ills is the scientific study of the negro question 
by men that are duly qualified and who are trusted by 
the Southern people. Perhaps the greatest danger in the 
treatment of Southern troubles is not the old slogans, 
but rather such deadly formulas as these : "There is no 
race question"; "The question will settle itself"; "We 
must leave it all to Providence" ; "The American people 
are not ready to study the race question"; "The study 
will disturb economic conditions" ; "You can't study race- 
prejudice scientifically"; "Things are getting better"; 

Look at the progress of the South, — or the negro"; 

Christianity will solve the race problem"; "Education 
will solve the race problem," and so forth. These are 
now the formulas that threaten our undoing. We advo- 
cate publicity and scientific study of all other questions ; 
for how can we dissolve the "zones of silence" that sur- 
round the race question except by means of investiga- 
tion that has the motive of htunanitarianism and the 
method of science? 





The hundredth anniversary of Mrs. Stowe's birth oc- 
curred on June 14, 1912; the sixtieth anniversary of the 
publication of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was in March, 191 2. 
As a student of the negro problem for ten years I sud- 
denly awoke to the fact that, though I had read all man- 
ner of treatises and some fiction connected with slavery 
and racial questions, I had not read "Uncle Tom's 
Cabin," a book often regarded as of epochal significance. 
And why? Because I had associated the book with con- 
troversy and fierce passions, and had been brought up 
to. regard it as an exaggerated and unfair picture of 
Southern conditions before the war between the sec- 
tions. It occurred to me, however, at this time, that I 
must no longer neglect what seemed clearly a duty in 
the case of one who was unwilling to pass over any 
significant contribution to a better historical understand- 
ing of the difficult problem that I had been studying so 
assiduously. So I overcame my repugnance to the book, 
a dislike not so much to what I knew of the book as to 
the unpleasant associations connected with it. I am 
therefore here setting down the results of my analysis 
of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" without expressing an opinion 
on its literary form or of its influence on the world at 
the time of its publication. 

What value has the book for us to-day, and are the 
issues raised in it vital for us at the present moment ? 


""([Incle Com'0 Cabin'' 171 

I shall presuppose the reader's general acquaintance 
with the story, but shall nevertheless so express my ana- 
lytical results that their bearing on the negro problem 
of to-day need not be prejudiced by the reader's lack of 
familiarity with the book. The page references are to 
the Everyman's Library edition. 

In order to clear the way for an appreciation of the 
suggestive lessons of the book I shall begin with some 
aspects of it that seem most open to criticism. One is 
astonished to note how possible it is for an author to take 
true incidents, to write from a dispassionate and hu- 
manitarian point of view, and yet to produce an im- 
pression that produced enthusiastic praise from one side 
and fierce denunciation from the other. I think that we 
may assume that both the praise and the denunciation 
were sincere, that the authoress thought she was drawing 
the thing as she saw, and believed that she saw it as it 
was; and that the main message of her book may be 
as useful for us sixty years after as it was on its first 
publication to the opponents of slavery. 


We must be wary in our criticism of a book that has 
been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, 
Dutch, Flemish, German, Polish, Magyar, Welsh, Ar- 
menian, Illyrian, Finnish, Modem Greek, and Portu- 
guese. And when a million copies of a book were sold 
in a foreign country (England) in one year (1852), we 
may well be careful how we judge harshly something 
that has gained the suffrages of the human race. How- 
ever, 1852 and 1912 are further apart in reality than 
the sixty years would seem to indicate, and we may 

172 Bace fl>rti)oDo£p in tbt %outi) 

hope that our criticism will be practically free from 
prejudice and emotional disturbance. Just because the 
book was so popular and had so much influence on the 
minds — and perhaps the muscles—of men, we must not 
shirk our duty of impartially estimating its signiflcance. 

I. Untypical Incidents Treated as Typical. — This is, 
of course, the stock criticism. That the authoress her- 
self meant the reader to regard even the extremest cases 
of cruelty as being typical of slavery in the South, and 
that she meant the darkest shadows in her picture to 
hold the center of the reader's attention, may be judged 
from the following quotation from her preface: "The 
object of these sketches is to awaken sympathy and feel- 
ing for the African race, as they exist among us; to 
show their wrongs and sorrows, under a system so 
necessarily cruel and unjust as to defeat and do away 
the good effects of all that can be attempted for them, 
by their best friends, under it. In doing this the author 
can sincerely disclaim any invidious feeling toward those 
individuals who, often without any fault of their own, 
are involved in the trials and embarrassments of the 
legal relations of slavery. 

"Experience has shown that some of the noblest of 
minds and hearts are often thus involved; and no one 
knows better than they do that what may be gathered 
of the evils of slavery from sketches like these is not 
the half that could be told of the unspeakable whole. 

"In the Northern states these representations may, 
perhaps, be thought caricatures; in the Southern states 
are witnesses who know their fidelity. What personal 
knowledge the author has had of the truth of incidents 
such as are here related will appear in due time." (xi.) 

Thus the reader is led to feel that there is an "unspeak- 
able whole'' that even the dramatic powers of a novel 

"^Oncle Com'0 Cabin'' 173 

cannot portray ; although there are "individuals" that are 
"embarrassed" by the institution of slavery, the real 
"witnesses" of the atrocities are in the South. I am 
quite willing to believe that Mrs. Stowe believed every- 
thing she wrote in the above passage. Allow me, how- 
ever, to contrast the impression she strives to give of 
the typicality of her gruesome stories of slavery with one 
of the true stories of my boyhood's traditions of things 
that happened "before the war." 

Dr. hears a timid knocking at his office door. 

When he opens for the supposed patient he finds a 
cringing negro who asks for medical attention. The 
doctor says: "What is the matter with you?" The 
negro replies: "Ah's been whipped, mossa; Ah cain't 
tek off my coat." After removing the poor creature's 
clothes from his back the doctor finds the slave's back a 
mass of cicatricized lacerations, layer upon layer. He 
quickly ministers to the wretched creature, has him put 
in the negro quarters of the physician's own home, and 
calls a meeting of prominent slave-owners. The meet- 
ing appoints a committee to have the miscreant whipper 
arrested and prosecuted with all possible rigor. This 
man, however, finding out what degree of horror has been 
aroused in the community (in the "low country" of 
South Carolina), flees the country and is never heard of 
again. It is natural that thousands of Southerners who 
know little of cases of atrocity such as those perpe- 
trated by Mrs. Stowe's Legree should feel that her pic- 
ture of the times of slavery has not been drawn true 
to life. However, Mrs. Stowe wrote for the purpose 
of arousing sympathy, and might well have replied that 
those who painted pictures in the dim light of the pyra- 
mids of Egypt needed to make the colors bright and 
garish. And yet, even now, the world needs to know, 

174 Bate £Dtt|oDosp in tie %outi) 

sooner or later, that "Southern atrocities" of the times 
of slavery were no more typical than the burnings of 
negroes at the stake to-day. We do not judge a civiliza- 
tion by its perverts, its exceptional criminals, its occa- 
sional orgies of maddened mobs, and the like. 

Says our author (p. 433) : "The separate incidents 
that compose the narrative are to a very great extent 
authentic, occurring, many of them, either under her own 
observation or that of her personal friends." Even so; 
but "separate incidents" may be very unt}rpical, without 
attention being called to the fact. In spite of this, how- 
ever, it is true that slavery opened the door to all softs 
of atrocious possibilities, and surely Mrs. Stowe is to be 
pardoned, especially when she is avowedly writing for 
the purpose of arousing sympathy for the slaves, and 
knows how hard it is to break through moral lethargy, 
even if she had given samples of what might occur under 
slavery as well as of what did occur. The analogous 
remark might be made with regard to the status of the 
negro in the South to-day. Even a very few lynchings 
are symptoipatic of a condition that ought not to be 
allowed to obtain. Whatever the cause of savagery in 
civilized communities, it ought to be investigated, and, 
if possible, removed. It is not enough to hold up bru- 
tality and mob madness to reprehension, nor even to 
make sure of convicting individual offenders: these 
things are but symptoms of a trouble whose causes lie 
deeper and the remedies for which may be correspond- 
ingly drastic. If one case of burning at the stake of 
even the most demoniacal criminal occurred in England, 
the whole British Empire would insist on something 
more than the prosecution of the ring-leaders of a mob. 
Hence the naive suggestion by an English paper re- 
cently that President Wilson should put a stop to lynch- 

""([Incle Com'0 Cabin'' 175 

ings. Mrs. Stowe knew that the deep inward injustice 
of a system often showed itself best in exceptional cases, 
and hence she took the artist's privilege of making her 
picture as effective for her purpose as possible. When 
she is told that slavery is mild in Kentucky (p. i6) and 
yet finds terrible cruelties perpetrated occasionally she is 
hardly to be blamed for believing that worse things may 
happen on the great cotton plantations of Mississippi. 
If she knows a case of ^ refined white lady herself 
using the whip on a negr6v in the enlightened city of 
New Orleans, what must snesinfer as to what might 
happen in the out-of-the-way pb^es of the South? If 
the weapons of oppression or the incitements to the un- 
checked display of temper are put into the hands of 
human beings, it is safe to say that such persons will be 
dehtmianized to some extent, and that the public opinion 
of the higher minds will not be able to leaven the Itmip 
altogether. Nor must we overlook the fact that Mrs. 
Stowe opposes the thoughtful St. Clare type to the callous 
Haley type, and that she depicts a htmiane Mrs. Shelby 
as well as a weak and selfish Mrs. St Clare. I think 
that we are safe in sajring that the book strives to point 
out the terrible possibilities in slavery: and it succeeds 
in doing that. 

One mistake made by Mrs. Stowe needs mention be- 
cause it is still current, namely, that of confounding racial 
with social relationships. She compares the escaping 
slave George with a Hungarian patriot (p. 201), and 
(p. 148) she contrasts the refined little white girl, Eva, 
with the hoodlumesque little n^^o girl, the celebrated 
Topsy. It is entirely allowable to sympathize with the 
escaping slave; but his case is decidedly not like that 
of the escaping patriot. Nor is the difference between 
Topsy and Eva a merely social difference. Had Topsy 


176 laace fl>rti)oliosp in tbt %out)i 

been the refined child and Eva a little white savage, most 
of the white people of earth would still prefer Eva. In- 
deed, just as a mother particularly cherishes her maimed 
or otherwise afflicted child, so the average man of racial 
conscience is inclined to stand up for his weak and worth- 
less brother. Racial representativeness is a very dif- 
ferent thing from difference of social status. No one 
can come within shouting distance of the real negro 
problem who does not appreciate this distinction. In- 
deed, almost everything critical that can be alleged 
against "Uncle Tom's Cabin" springs from the failure 
of its htmianitarian authoress to sympathize with race 
consciousness as such. To blame her for this failure 
would be absurd. Only now are the people of the 
North, through contact with the negro, beginning to 
understand that the caste of the kin in the South is not 
simply a difference of social or other accidental status, 
but is based on the ultimate meaning of biological kin- 
ship, with its presupposition of intermarriage among the 
racially akin and its taboo of amalgamation. 

2. Offending Racial Sensibility. — 'The last remark 
introduces us to another criticism of the story. When 
(P- 143) 21 white child is represented as throwing her 
arms around a little mulatto boy and kissing him the 
possibility of strong Southern sympathy for the book is 
done away with, even now. One such passage speaks 
eloquently for what is execrated at the South as the 
encouragement of interracial ''social eqiuUity," but 
which, perhaps, had better be called the right of social 
commimion. It is a manifest absurdity to assert that 
every white man, no matter how low he is, has neverthe- 
less an intrinsic value above that of every negro, no mat- 
ter how high his character is. But racial solidarity de- 
nfiands that the low white man should have a represen- 

""Onde Com'0 Cabin'' 177 

tative value quite apart from his intrinsic character ; and 
every attempt so to portray the social communion be- 
tween whites and blacks as to confound this distinction 
of representativeness is to alienate the Southern reader 
from the book and the noble-hearted writer of it. We 
are emphatically members one of another, and not the 
least so in racial matters. Even in halcyon apostolic 
days in the Christian church minor racial differences had 
to be considered in social life, and the apostolic con- 
cordat did not prevent the Christian church from di- 
viding on national lines that were as nothing in com- 
parison with the racial differences between whites and 

When the little Southern girl, Eva, is represented as 
kissing her old black manmiy (p. i68). Southerners 
know that there is no implication of "social equality" 
in the child's affection, if the representation be true to 
life. Eva would have kissed her kitten or hugged the 
Newfoundland dog with the same kind of "petting" 
affection. But the real little Evas of the South would 
not have tolerated any "equality" liberties on the part 
of black mammies. 

On page 114, where the "rich dark eye" of the mu- 
latto is spoken of, we have an instance of unintended 
affront to the sensibilities of the South. No one doubts 
the existence of beauty in races other than the white 
race. But the little touch reveals the tendency on Mrs. 
Stowe's part to adopt an abstract htmianitarianism that 
instinct tells the Southern white man will sooner or 
later tend to break down all distinctions between the 
races. There are some truths not to be told, some ap- 
preciations of beauty that are out of place, some ex- 
hibitions of goodness, even, that are impertinent under 
certain circimistances. Fancy a mulatto reading about 

178 Bace fl)ttt)oDoxp in tbt %outt) 

the "beauty" of a Caucasian-African mixture! Then, 
too, sad experience shows that there are types of white 
men and women that are strongly attracted by what is 
unusual in physical attractiveness; such expressions as 
that to which I have referred have a subtle influence 
that can lead to no good. If the mixed type occurs in 
Central Africa, there may be no harm in telling of its 
"beauty" — ^but so greatly do circumstances alter cases 
that what on the surface seems to be liberal aesthetic 
humanitarianism may be easily construed into racial dis- 
loyalty and a belief in amalgamation. 

Some would say that these matters should not be 
discussed. I think, however, that overmuch reticence 
has already muddied the waters of the negro problem. 
Mrs. Stowe herself would probably have abhorred the 
idea of amalgamation : she evidently, as in "Uncle Tom's 
Cabin" itself (preface and elsewhere), hopes to see the 
negro colonized in Africa; nevertheless, in her abstract 
htunan charity, she fails to command the sympathy of 
those who would otherwise have appreciated such a noble 
plea as this : "To you, generous, noble-minded men and 
women of the South — you whose virtue and magnanim- 
ity and purity of character are the greater for the severer 
trial it has encountered — ^to you is her (the author's) 
appeal. Have you not, in your own secret souls, in your 
own private conversings, felt that there are woes and 
evils in this accursed system far beyond what are here 
shadowed, or can be shadowed? Can it be otherwise? 
Is man ever a creature to be trusted with wholly irre- 
sponsible power? And does not the slave system, by 
denying the slave all legal right of testimony, make every 
individual owner an irresponsible despot ? Can anybody 
fail to make the inference what the practical result will 
be? If there is, as we admit, a public sentiment among 

""Onde Com'0 €tihin^ 179 

you, men of honor, justice and humanity, is there not 
also another kind of public sentiment among the ruffian, 
the brutal and debased ? And cannot the ruffian, the bru- 
tal, the debased, by slave law, own just as many slaves 
as the best and purest? Are the honorable, the just, 
the high-minded and compassionate the majority any- 
where in this world ?*' 

3. Idealization of the Negro. — Necessarily the book 
makes the most of the negro's supposedly more attrac- 
tive traits. However much we may want to see justice 
done to human beings, our sympathies are hard to arouse 
unless the victims of a bad system have some heroic or 
some amiable characteristics. Nor would we for a mo- 
ment assert that negroes now or during the times of 
slavery are to be regarded as destitute of such traits. 
But it is hard for us nowadays to think of the "gentle 
domestic heart" as a primary trait of the average negro 
(99). Their "instinctive affections" ( loi ) may be strong, 
but one of the contemporary criticisms of the negro is 
the facility with which many of the race seem to neglect 
their own "flesh and blood" kinsfolk. It is hard to 
believe that so many negroes of roving disposition and 
feeble affection for home should be the descendants of 
a race whose love of family life was so "peculiarly 
strong" (loi). Perhaps the degeneration of to-day 
may be due to powerful causes that did not operate 
tmder slavery, or did slavery rather suddenly succeed 
in suppressing the negro's evil tendencies? The same 
kind of criticism may be passed on the ascription to the 
negro (as a race) of love of beauty (183), talent for 
cooking (209), religious docility (391). Some of these 
supposed traits we shall discuss in another section: it 
is enough here to say that it is unlikely that Mrs. Stowe's 
knowledge of negro character was large enough to jus- 

i8o Bate fl)tti)oOasp in tbt %outt) 

tify her characterization of the negroes in these re- 
spects. We must remember, however, with respect to 
her tentative prophecy (183) that the negro will pro- 
duce new arts, etc., she is careful to say "perhaps," 
and even then she locates this flowering of the negro 
race in Africa, where "the negro race, no longer des- 
pised and trodden down, will, perhaps, show forth some 
of the latest and most magnificent revelations of human 
life." Would Mrs. Stowe be able to write such words 
to-day? I doubt it: I am inclined to think that her 
optimistic glow would tone down into a prophecy nearer 
akin to the Booker Washington industrial, money-mak- 
ing kind of neg^o heaven. 

But listen to this further prophecy, which now sounds 
pathetic: "Certainly they will (succeed), in their gentle- 
ness, their lowly docility of heart, their aptitude to 
repose on a superior mind and rest on a higher power, 
their childlike simplicity of affection and facility of 
forgiveness. In all these they will exhibit the highest 
form of the peculiarly Christian life, and, perhaps, as 
God chasteneth whom He loveth. He hath chosen poor 
Africa in the furnace of aflliction, to make her the high- 
est and noblest in that kingdom which He will set up 
when every other kingdom has been tried and failed: 
for the first shall be last, and the last first." "Perhaps" 
all this will happen in Africa, when the negroes have 
come to their own: if there is the slightest chance for 
such a development the lingering of the negro in this 
land of the free and home of the brave seems to be a 
direful tragedy, for I for one can see no sign of this 
peculiarly Christian character developing in any con- 
siderable section of the Southern negroes. "Perhaps" 
the American negroes will do better in Africa than they 

''Onde Com'0 Cabin'' iSi 

arc doing here, and much better than the "civilized" 
native African Christians. 

One thing, however, about Mrs. Stowe's pathetic hopes 
we must sympathize with : her belief in the possibilities 
of human nature. Japan was regarded not very long 
ago as destined to take a rather humble rank among the 
nations, and no one dreamed even ten years ago that 
China would become a republic. Those cocksure indi- 
viduals who condemn the negro race to perpetual servile 
spiritual tutelage are further from the truth, "perhaps," 
than the idealistic authoress of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." 
Let us, at any rate, rejoice in Mrs. Stowe's moral hope- 
fulness, and realize that her idealization of the negro, 
her failure to understand racial solidarity, her wrong per- 
spective with regard to the actual working of slavery in 
the South, were inevitable under the circumstances, as 
inevitable as was the resentment that her negrophilism 
kindled in the South. We shall never get far in any sort 
of study of the negro question until we realize that 
charity means clarity when its tolerance is discriminating 
rather than merely sentimental. 


Northern vs. Southern. — Mrs. Stowe's notable ef- 
fort to be fair, as seen in her portrayal of the attitudes 
of St. Clare, the Southern slave-owner, and Miss Ophe- 
lia, the Northern philanthropist, has not received the 
credit due it. And the gist of this contrast is in principle 
as true to-day as it was sixty years ago. Let us con- 
sider several instances of where the Southern attitude 
is contrasted with the Northern. 

( I.) Miss Ophelia : "I think you slaveholders have an 

i82 laace fl>ttt)ODosp in ttt %outf) 

awful responsibility upon you. I wouldn't have it for a 
thousand worlds. You ought to educate your slaves 
and treat them like reasonable creatures that you've got 
to stand before the bar of God with. That's my mind." 
St. Clare : "Oh, come, come ! What do you know about 
us? . . . Well, now, cousin, you've given us a good 
talk, and done your duty ; on the whole, I think the better 
of you for it. I make no manner of doubt that you 
threw a very diamond of truth at me, though you see it 
hit me so directly in the face that it wasn't exactly ap- 
preciated at first." (P. 1 80.) 

Even so to-day, when Southerners wince because of 
being hit with "diamonds of truth," it is not surprising 
that the rankling pain prevents due appreciation of the 
diamond's beauty. When Northerners come South, enter 
fully into the difficulties of the situation, do nothing to 
encourage social communion between the races, sympa- 
thize with the white man's view of the representative- 
ness of race, realize the danger of putting whites and 
blacks into competition with one another; but neverthe- 
less treats the negroes as if they were reasonable souls 
and immortal creatures, and strives to have them edu- 
cated in a way that will not unduly complicate an already 
intricate situation; — ^then the diamonds of truth will 
sparkle peacefully before the eyes of the South, and 
resentment on the part of the better classes, at least, 
will be conspicuously lacking. Whenever even the most 
radical Southerners can come to see that the "enlight- 
ened" treatment of the negroes will not have the effect 
of putting aside the Southern contention for the repre- 
sentative superiority in status of every white man over 
every negro, opposition to negro education and the more 
humane treatment of the colored race will cease. In my 
paper on Education and Equality and elsewhere I dis- 

''Onde Com'0 €Bhin^ 183 

cuss some of the troublesome points in this connection. 

(2) When Miss Ophelia discovers Eva perched on 
Uncle Tom's knee and hanging a garland of flowers 
arotmd his neck, she exclaims in horror : "How can you 
let her? ... it seems so dreadful!" St. Clare says: 
"You would think no harm in a child's caressing a large 
dog, even if he was black; but a creature that can think, 
and reason, and feel, and is immortal, you shudder at: 
confess it, cousin. I know the feeling among some of 
you Northerners well enough. Not that there is a par- 
ticle of virtue in our not having it; but custom with us 
does what Christianity ought to do— obliterates the feel- 
ing of personal prejudice. I have often noticed, in my 
travels North, how much stronger this was with you than 
with us. You loathe them as you would a snake or a 
toad, yet you are indignant at their wrongs. You would 
not have them abused, but you don't want to have any- 
thing to do with them yourselves. You would send them 
to Africa, out of your sight and smell, and then send a 
missionary or two to do up all the self-denial of elevat- 
ing them compendiously." (Pp. 181-2.) 

Is this passage out of date now, has it lost its truth — 
and its sting? Can forced and unnatural righteousness 
in the abstract ever be appreciated by its — ^victims ? And 
yet has not this very lack of loathing felt toward the 
negro's physical make-up caused dire consequences at 
the SouUi? Add to the Southerner's lack of aesthetic 
prejudice against the negro a failure on the part of some 
to adhere rigidly to the caste of the kin and the creed 
of racial representativeness, what then would happen? 
Nowadays Southerners, having less to do with negroes 
and losing the old ties of domestic affection toward them, 
are more and more coming to feel the average North- 
erner's distaste toward the physical proximity of negroes. 

1 84 Bate fl>tti)oDoxp in tbt %outii 

On the other hand, Northern public opinion is saying 
more and more, "The negro problem is a matter for the 
South to settle : it is none of our business." Thus the 
negro is in danger of losing both his abstract Northern 
friends and his concrete Southern friends ! As a promi- 
nent student of the negro question put it to me : "We are 
heartily tired of the negro question at the North." And 
Southerners are constantly confessing their growing 
aesthetic dislike of any sort of contact with the negro. 
All of which is a thing to be thought about very seri- 

(3) St. Clare: "What poor, mean trash this business 
of human virtue is ! A mere matter, for the most part, 
of latitude and longitude and geographical position, act- 
ing with natural temperament. The greater part is noth- 
ing but an accident. Your father, for example, settles 
in Vermont, in a town where all are, in fact, free and 
equal; becomes a regular church member and deacon, 
and in due time joins an Abolitionist society and thinks 
us all little better than heathens. Yet he is, for all the 
world, in constitution and habit, a duplicate of my father. 
I can see it leaking out in fifty different ways — just that 
same strong, overbearing, dominant spirit. You know 
very well how impossible it is to persuade some of the 
folks in your village that Squire Sinclair does not feel 
above them. The fact is, though he has fallen on demo- 
cratic times and embraced a democratic theory, he is to 
the heart an aristocrat, as much as my father, who ruled 
over five or six hundred slaves. . . . Now I know every 
word you are going to say. I do not say they were alike 
in fact. One fell into a condition where everything 
acted against the natural tendency, and the other where 
everything acted for it; and so one turned out a pretty 
wilful, stout, overbearing old democrat, and the other a 

''Onde Com'0 Caditt"^ 185 

wilful, stout old despot. If both had owned planta- 
tions in Louisiana, they would have been as like as two 
old bullets cast in the same mold!" 

Even in the matter of just treatment of the negro 
before the law, the country is beginning to find that in 
spite of better facilities for protecting negroes at the 
North, and in spite of the tradition for treating them 
fairly, Northern officers of the law are sometimes unable 
or unwilling to protect negroes from mob violence. And 
Northern discrimination against negroes with regard to 
public utilities and the like is showing a "Southern" 
spirit; while labor union discrimination is far worse at 
the North. Then, too, it is notorious how violent many 
Northerners become in their feelings toward the negro 
race when their residence in the South brings them into 
contact with the race whose "rights" they have been 
taught to respect. St. Clare himself brings out this idea 
strongly (314-5). Southerners can now say to the 
people of the North what St. Clare said to Miss Ophe- 
lia: "We are the more obTnotis oppressors of the negro; 
but the unchristian prejudice of the North is an oppres- 
sor almost equally severe." According to certain negro 
leaders, the Northern "economic" oppression bears even 
more heavily on the negro, especially when accompanied 
with actual social "discrimination," than does the South- 
em drawing of the "color line," which is a matter of 
principle at the South. 

Mrs. Stowe knew that "the magic of the real presence 
of distress, the imploring human eye, the frail, trembling 
human hand, the despairing appeal of helpless agony," 
work as truly on Southern as on Northern hearts, and 
that a system of things which repressed such natural 
feelings is a monstrosity though the people living under 
such a system are not only far from being monsters, 

1 86 Bate fl)ttf)oDoxp in tte %outt) 

but at bottom may be better human beings than their 
more fortunately situated critics. 

Think to-day of the growing callousness of feeling 
at the North with regard to the negro situation and 
realize that practically nothing has been done for the 
scientific and humanitarian sttidy of the negro question ; 
note that the country is drifting, with the eyes of the 
spirit closely shut, thinking only of present profits, with- 
out even striving to look ahead and ask itself what the 
outcome will be. Reflect that in the meanwhile there 
is practical spiritual slavery still in our land. When 
one thinks on these things, it is well to conclude this 
section with Mrs. Stowe's indictment of the North: 

"Do you say that the people of the free states have 
nothing to do with it, and can do nothing? Would to 
God this were true! But it is not true. The people of 
the free states have defended, encouraged and partici- 
pated; and are more guilty for it before God than the 
South, in that they have not the apology of education or 
custom. If the mothers of the free states had felt as 
they should in times past, the sons of the free states 
would not have been the holders, and proverbially the 
hardest masters, of slaves; the sons of the free states 
would not have connived at the extension of slavery 
in our national body; the sons of the free states would 
not, as they do, trade the souls and bodies of men as an 
equivalent of money in their mercantile dealings. There 
are multitudes of slaves temporarily owned and sold 
again by merchants in Northern cities; and shall the 
whole guilt or obloquy of slavery fall only on the South ?" 

Now slavery is gone from the land, and no one wants 
it back ; but Northern "capital" is apparently not willing 
to help have the Southern situation studied for fear that 
conditions will be "unsettled," and talks as if the situa- 

**aittcle Com'0 Caiiitt'' 187 

tion would "settle itself" — as if such questions ever did! 
When conscientious men are willing to allow a tragic 
moral problem to remain unstudied for fear that an 
economic status might conceivably be interfered with, 
they show forth the same sort of moral blindness as was 
evinced by the Northern merchants that Mrs. Stowe 

When Southerners complacently declare that the 
North has at last turned the negro question over to the 
South, they forget that the problem is national even if 
it were only Southern, and that the time has come for 
the South to ask the cooperation of the whole world in 
the study, at least, of what profoundly affects the funda- 
mental principles of enlightened mankind. If the South 
is right in her view of the negro question, she should 
want the whole world to know it; if conditions should 
be changed in the interests of both whites and blacks, 
the South should aid all those who wish to put an end 
to whatever interferes with the economic, educational 
and moral deevlopment of the South. 



It is doubtful whether anyone has ever classified con- 
cretely the differing viewpoints of the Southern whites 
with respect to the negro as well as Mrs. Stowe has done 
in "Uncle Tom's Cabin." I shall group into classes some 
of the representative views. Of course such classifica- 
tions are only for the sake of convenience. The same 
person may change from one point of view to another, 
according to time, mood and occasion; besides this, all 
such classifications overlap to a considerable extent. But 
the important point is this : the main problem connected 

1 88 Bace SDttiioDosp in tte %outii 

with the negro remains to-day, in spite of the absence 
of economic slavery; hence the views of the dominant 
race, being ultimately due to the presence of the negro, 
remain substantially what they were sixty years ago. 

1. "The negro is a wild beast and needs to be tamed 
so that he will show submissive docility in obeying man's 
will." — Such is the thesis of the "Legree" type, not a 
common one except when the mob spirit is aroused, or 
when some negro "atrocity" makes the higher classes of 
whites forget that the beast-spirit lurks in man as man 
everywhere, and that the white race has its full allowance 
of beastliness. Legree's brutality seems to have been due 
largely to strong drink and an ignorant, badly balanced, 
superstitious mind. He is practically the only real rep- 
resentative of his type in the book. 

2. "The negro is human, but is a species of man so 
different from the whites that he must not be treated 
as possessed of full human rights, for they mean nothing 
to him." — Haley and his friends represent this type. 
Here are some of its utterances, which one can hear to- 
day on all sides: "Honest as niggers go. . . ." (lo.) 
"These critters ain't like white folks, you know; they 
gets over things, only manage right, etc. . . ." (13.) 
"Niggers, you know, that's fetched up properly, hain't 
no kind of 'spectations of no kind; so all these things 
comes easier. ... I treat niggers just as well as it's 
ever worth while to treat 'em." (15.) "Put him to 
hoeing and digging, and see if he'd step about so smart." 

3. "Providence has designed the negro to be a ser- 
vant of the white man, and servants cannot be expected 
to understand the higher life and motives of the higher 
social classes." — Mrs. St. Clare and, to some extent, Mr. 
Shelby illustrate this type. This is how they talk : "We 

""Ottde Com'0 €ahitC' 189 

can't reason from our feelings to those of this class of 
persons. ..." (127.) "I hold to being kind to ser- 
vants — I always am ; but you must make 'em know their 
place/* (173.) "Mammie couldn't have the feelings 
that I should." (178.) "It's a pity . . . that you have 
burdened them with morality above their condition." 


With the growing solidarity of race- feeling this type 
is rapidly becoming assimilated to class two, before- 
mentioned, that regards the negro as specifically different 
from the white race, and therefore not to be treated as 
fully human. 

4. "The negro is an inferior race, but is truly and 
altogether human, and deserves to be treated humanely 
under all circumstances and in every respect ; even if the 
negroes were only animals, it would be our duty and 
privilege to be kind to them." 

Let me give a few illustrations which are confined to 
no particular social class : "Somehow I never could sec 
no kind o' critters a-strivin' and pantin' and trying to 
cl'ar theirselves, with the dogs arter 'em, and go agin 
'em. Besides, I don't see no kind of 'casion for me to 
be hunter and catcher for other folks, neither." (67.) 
(This "poor, heathenish Kentuckian" is shame-faced and 
apologetic in his humaneness, but is t3rpical, perhaps, of 
the deeper heart of the South generally, when "politics" 
and "social equality" are not concerned.) ". . . Treat 
'em like dogs and you'll have dogs' works and dogs' 
actions." (m.) "The Lord made 'em men, and ifs a 
hard squeeze getting 'em down into beasts. . . . Better 
send orders up to the Lord to make you a set (of ne- 
groes) and leave out their souls entirely." (112.) 

5. "The negro is something of a beast — a little more 
evidently so than we are, something of a child — ^and 

I90 Rate fl>ctiioOasp in tbt ^outb 

therefore needing correction: something of a savage— 
and therefore needing civilization: but he is as truly 
htunan as we are; we are responsible for him; and 
something could be done to alleviate the situation if 
public opinion were only solidified as to our evident 
duty, and if we only saw a way out of our perplexi- 

St. Clare is, of course, the representative of this class, 
which includes those with race conscience who neverthe- 
less understand the meaning of the race-enmity and the 
mere race-pride of other types among the whites. St 
Clare holds that, although the negro is often what Mrs. 
St. Qare declares him to be— ^"provoking, stupid, care- 
less, tmreasonable, childish, ungrateful" — in large meas- 
ure "we have made them what they are, and ought to 
bear with them" (177) ; "that ii we were in their place 
we should often, even with our 'superior' natures, do as 
they do" (234) ; that more ought to be done for them, 
"but one man can do nothing against the whole action 
of a community" (272) ; that education is a dangerous 
expedient, because "education frees," and people do not 
submit to tutelage after they are full-grown. 

I have put St. Qare's opinions in a form that will 
make them apply to the negro problem of to-day, and I 
doubt whether any dispassionate man is prepared to criti- 
cize St. Qare's views harshly. He saw the problem 
clearly, and through him Mrs. Stowe shows her abiding 
sympathy with the better Southern view of the negro 
problem. But for her apparent approval of "social equal- 
ity" in the case of the Quaker child's treatment of the 
little mulatto, and a failure to see the full implications 
of the representativeness of race and the far-reaching 
possibilities of social communion, I think that much in 
Mrs. Stowe's book might easily become an expression. 

""Onde Com'0 Caditt'' 191 

especially through the views of St. Qare^ of the thinking 
South's conscientious bewilderment. 


Mrs. Stowe, naturally enough, does not represent the 
negro's attitude as fully as she does the various views of 
the whites. And it is to be expected that her portrayal 
of despairing pessimism among the colored folk, espe- 
cially those of mixed blood, should be stressed more 
decidedly than any other aspect of the negro's feeling 
toward his status. 

1. Racial Solidarity. — There arc a few such expres- 
sions as the following, which are typical of the average 
black's attitude : "Him as tries to get one o' our people 
is as good as tryin' to get all, etc" (8i.) "Don't want 
none o' your light-colored balls, cuttin' 'round, makin' 
b'lieve you's white folks. Arter all, you's niggers, much 
as I am." (219.) 

The growing "get-together" of the white people has, 
of course, led to greater solidarity of feeling among all 
those who have any negro blood in their veins ; yet, even 
now, one sees social lines drawn at times among the 
negroes apparently according to the degree of white blood 
among the lighter-colored folk. 

2. The Pessimistic View. — "What's the use of liv- 
ing," etc. (23.) — "Ain't no use in niggers havin' noth- 
in'." (102.) "What country have I but the grave?" 
(115.) "There is a God for you, but is there any for 
us ?" (121.) The mulatto George is responsible for most 
of these expressions of untypical pessimism; but I am 
inclined to think — and I base my opinion on actual knowl- 
edge — ^that, though the higher orders of full-blooded ne- 

192 Eace fl>tti)olic«p in tbt %Qtttl) 

groes are not as a rule pessimistic, many of them fed 
keenly at times the hopelessness of the outlook for their 
race, so far as fulness of life in the future is concerned. 
The average negro fails to appreciate the existence of a 
''problem," and does not bother himself with it, even if 
told that a problem exists: nevertheless, the close ob- 
server can occasionally catch the sound of a sigh or a 
sob. For example, one among a number: A certain 
full-blooded negro woman, educated, refined, the prin- 
cipal of a large negro school in the South, made this 
remark to one of my teacher friends who held the usual 
Southern views as to ''social equality" and the like, but 
who was incapable of betraying confidence : "Mr. Blank, 
you see that girl of mine playing out there so light- 
heartedly. Well, I often wish that she had never been 
bom, though she is a good child, into whose life no 
impurity has entered." Nor is this expression unique. 
Negroes are proverbially cautious and reticent with re- 
gard to racial secrets, but we must not conclude on that 
accoimt that they cannot and do not enter into the spirit 
of Dr. DuBois' "Litany of Atlanta," which is one of the 
saddest plaints ever written. 

With the development of a worthy minority of the 
negro race has come a hopeful outlook toward the fu- 
ture, especially because of the belief inculcated by 
Booker Washington that honest and trustworthy skilled 
industry will somehow ultimately give the negro all he 
needs, if not all he wants. All the same, not a few 
of these negro leaders are but whistling to keep their 
courage up. 


In another paper I have given a slight psychological 
account — or sociologies)], if you prefer it — of divers 

""(Sttcle c:om^$ Caftitt^ 193 

characteristics imputed to the n^ro by the whites. In 
that short and inadequate study I tried to show that, 
according to average white opinion, the negro is pre- 
vailingly gregarious, appropriative and expressive, but is 
lacking in responsiveness (sympathy, gratitude, etc.), 
assertiveness (resentment, etc.) and perceptiveness (dis- 
interested curiosity, power of observation, etc.). It will 
be interesting to see how far Mrs. Stowe agrees in her 
portrayal of negro character with the popular Caucasian 
view of the negro in the South. 


I. Sociological. — (i) Appropriative. — ^There are no 
clear indications of this trait that I can find in the book. 
The nearest approach to it is to be noted in the charac- 
ter of the cunning Sam, who had a '^strict lookout to 
his own personal wellbeing"; but as that trait is asso- 
ciated by Mrs. Stowe with white patriots in Washing- 
ton (supposedly Congressmen), we are not justified, I 
suppose, in using this allusion as an illustration of ap- 
propriativeness ! The cook, Dinah, is said to be "studi- 
ous of her ease," but nothing is indicated with regard 
to a tendency "just to take things." I leave it to the 
experienced reader to determine whether the trait of 
appropriativeness is sufiiciently conspicuous in the n^ro 
to deserve characterization in a book like "Uncle Tom's 
Cabin." Perhaps Mrs. Stowe was incautious when she 
states in her preface that negro character is "essentially 
unlike" that of the "hard, dominant Anglo-Saxon race." 
(2) Gregariousness. — This trait is taken for granted 
in the book and occasionally specifically touched on: 
And so much did his prayer (Uncle Tom's) always 


194 Hace fDttb9tnfS9 in tbt %ont!b 

woiic on the devoticxial feeling of his audience that there 
seemed often a danger that it would be lost altogether 
in the abundance of the responses which broke out every- 
where around him/' Perhaps the authoress knew of the 
"carryings-on" at divers white camp-meetings, North and 
South, and hesitated in consequence to portray excitable 
gregariousness as characteristic of negroes. 

(3) Expressiveness. — Our author here gives many il- 
lustrations, for her attention was of course struck with 
the picturesqueness of the effusiveness shown by some 
types of negroes. Apart from general references, the 
following examples of expressiveness occur: Mandy's 
"strutting" (47) ; Sam's "rolling ujp his eyes with a 
volume of meaning" (52); the bumptious attempt to 
use big words and the ridiculous misuse or mispronunci- 
ation of them, "bobservation," p. 55; "coUusetate," p. 
82) ; "I'll speechify these niggers, now I've got a chance. 
Lord, I'll reel it off to make 'em stare!" (80). 

Fertility in excuse-making (210) perhaps belongs un- 
der this head, for it is usually the effusive negroes that 
are facile in "explaining." 

As to perceptivcness, assertiveness and responsiveness, 
Mrs. Stowe gives us few data. In general terms she 
tells us that negroes are responsive; but her portrayal 
of this trait can nearly always be interpreted as expres- 
siveness rather than sympathy. Of course she sets forth 
Sam's cunning and the childish, hoodlumesque or savage 
trickiness of other negroes ; but we have little indication 
that she regarded the negroes as observant, except in 
their ability to note social facts — for instance, Mrs. 
Shelby's influence over her household (50), and this 
trait is rather the product of gregarious expressiveness 
whereby negroes often "pool" their social observations 
and get a sort of social generalization that they all fre- 

""(Sttcle c:om'$ Caftitt'' 195 

quently act upon. The ^'passing of the word" and the 
'^grapevine telegraph" are phenomena still decidedly in 

As to assertivenesSy there is no sign of negro revenge- 
fulness in the book except of the humorous kind. But 
no special attention is called to the negro's lack of re- 

2. Psychological Traits. — Uncle Tom's observation 
(P- 33) ^2it the negro children are "full of tickle" is 
most true to life. The organic sensations of the negro, 
including the sexual sensations, seem to be greatly de- 
veloped. His imaginativeness, "sensual concretism," 
love of pleasure, eagerness for excitement, quick emo- 
tion, and so on, all seem connected with this inside 
"ticklishness." Apart from mentioning Dinah's inabil- 
ity to be helped by "systematic regulation" (211 ), a most 
significant lack and possibly one connected with weak- 
ness of development of the associative system in the 
brain, nothing further is given us of a definite nature 
with regard to the negro's psychological traits. 

3. Moral Traits. — 'Apart frcMn the character of 
Uncle Tom, whose morality is essentially religious, we 
have singularly little to show for negro morality. For 
the most part, Mrs. Stowe treats negro character as 
childish and non-moral rather than moral. It is interest- 
ing in this connection to quote the following paragraph 
that is true to-day, except that for the word "master" 
we need to soften the language and substitute the word 
"patron" : "We hear often of the distress of the negro 
servants on the loss of a kind master, and with good 
reason; for no creature on God's earth is left more ut- 
terly unprotected and desolate than the slave in these 
circumstances." Much of the negro's attachment to 
white persons has a sort of utilitarian basis. Many of 

196 Eace fl)ttl)oliosp in tbt ftomb 

them are adepts at making use of white people. And 
sore would be the fate of many, as the Atlanta riot and 
other events have shown, were it not that the negro's 
"best friend is the Southern white man." Of course the 
patron class among the whites is not large, and is prob- 
ably rapidly decreasing ; but we still hear of ''Mr. Blank's 
nigger," etc. 

11. Servants' Traits. — Some of Mrs. Stowe's best 
touches in delineating negro character are to be found 
in the traits that characterize the servant class generally 
at certain stages of their development rather than negro 
servants in particular; nevertheless, there is a negroid 
tang about these servants' traits that is hard to analyze. 
Here are a few of the characteristics that are at least 
as much "servant" as negro: "Zealous and ready offi- 
ciousness" (p. 62). "How easy white folks al'as does 
things" (p. 29). "Our folks" (referring to her owners, 
p. 30). "I can't do nothin' with ladies in the kitchen" (p. 
32). "Mas'r can't be 'spected to be a-pryin' roimd every- 
whar, as I've done, a-keepin' up all the ends. The boys all 
mean well, but they's powerful car'less. That ar troubles 
me." (Note the non-moral weakness, p. 61.) As to the 
imitativeness, wrong use of big words, and the like, 
Shakespeare, or any other master of human nature 
knowledge, will assure us that the negro has no special 
claim to such peculiarities. 

in. Types: The Child, the Savage and the Hood- 
lum. — Mrs. Stowe of course makes no classifications of 
types and attempts no exhaustive treatment of negro 
character. Indeed, it is surprising to find out how much 
she has brought out with regard to t3rpical negro traits 
when one considers her object in writing and her limited 
acquaintance with the negro. I acquit her of all respon- 
sibility for the heading of this section. But I think that 
she has recognized and portrayed the three types, never- 

''(Sttcle c:om'$ Caftitt'' 197 

theless — ^types which are still to be seen among the ne- 
groes, and without understanding of which the psycho- 
logical, that is the fundamental, aspects of the negro 
question cannot be well understood. 

1. The Childish Type. — This may. of course also be 
hoodlum or savage. I must once more remind the 
reader that such sociological types are not mutually ex- 

The redoubtable Sam again furnishes us with an illus- 
tration of this type, for Sam's characteristics are "child- 
like and bland" rather than savage or hoodlum. Says 
Sam, after he had been guilty of a characteristic piece 
of childish cunning and mischief: "Yer oughter seen 
how mad he looked when I brought the horse up. Lord, 
he'd 'a' killed me, if he durs' to; and there I was a-stand- 
in' as innercent and as humble." Most of the negro 
characters are of the childish type. 

2. The Savage Type. — Sambo and Quimbo (344 ff.) 
are the principal illustrations of this type. Legree, the 
cruel slave-driver, had found them well suited to his 
purposes, callous enough for his training. Here is a 
specimen of Sambo's savage himior: "Lord, de fun! 
To see him stickin' in the mud, chasin' and tearin' 
through de bushes, dogs a-holdin' on to him! Lord, I 
laughed fit to split dat ar time we kotched Molly. I 
thought they'd had her all stripped up afore I could get 
'em off. She car's de marks o' dat ar' spree yet" (389.) 

3. The Hoodlum Type. — ^The classical Topsy that 
was not "made" but "grow'd" is the best type of hood- 
lum in the book. Though the t3rpical hoodlum "grows" 
in the town, and Topsy is supposedly a coxmtry product, 
her traits are such as would have found a congenial 
atmosphere in the slums of a great city. Many of us 
have seen the type among the negroes : "The expression 

198 Eace tt>ttb9tnts9 in ibt %omb 

of the face was an odd mixture of shrewdness and cun- 
ning, over which was oddly drawn, like a kind of veil, 
an expression of the most doleful gravity and solemnity." 
Her fantastic song-and-dance performance showed that 
curious combination of childishness, savagery and sophis- 
tication that we associate with the street gamin that will 
develop into a full-fledged hoodlum. Notice the bravado 
in her nonchalant complaining: " . • . 'She can't b'ar 
me, 'cause Fm a nigger! She'd 's soon have a toad 
touch her. There can't nobody love niggers, and nig- 
gers can't do nothin'. I don't care,' said Topsy, b^^- 
ning to whistle." All three types produce criminals: 
the childishly ignorant and thoughtless, the savagely 
brutal and callous, the worldly-wise "professional" ex- 
ploiter of the weak and the timid. Mrs. Stowe evidently 
believes that the childish type is commonest, and shows 
her belief in the entire humanness of the other types by 
describing a "conversion" of a representative of each. 
Isolation and ignorance in the country and the outcast 
life in the city are constantly tending to change childish 
negroes into the savage or the hoodlum types. 


Of all the books written on the negro question, "Uncle 
Tom's Cabin" is still the one that most nearly touches 
the nerve of the problem. The South is still too sensi- 
tive to do the book justice and the North is becoming 
apologetic toward the South. Perhaps it is well that 
this should be so. Too long has the South been cruelly 
misunderstood. Too long has she had to bear reproach 
from the whole civilized world, which finds it so much 
easier to blame than to understand. In putting into a 

""(Uttcle c:om'$ Caftitt^ 199 

series of propositions what I regard as the main mes- 
sage of the book for this day I am not afraid to say that, 
if I do not misinterpret the book — and I give page refer- 
ences in order that my inferences should not stand un- 
supported — the mission of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" has not 
yet been fulfilled. 

1. Humane people do odd things (14), and eco- 
nomic motives prevent men from using their consciences 
in finding out and righting wrongs (40). Such is the 
value of human souls, however, among exploiters and 
exploited, that sooner or later this nation will be ashamed 
of itself for allowing this negro question to remain un- 
studied in this age of science and humanitarianism. 

2. There is no use in calling people names, especially 
when the supposed wrongdoers are as likely to be con- 
scientious as their critics are. We may call a system 
barbarous without regarding its upholders as barbarians 
(236). It is doubtful if the framework of society in 
New York City will stand scrutiny any better than it 
will in New Orleans (187). Undemocratic withholding 
from a people of the full rights of manhood may some- 
times be the less of two evils, but can never be right and 
should not be tolerated imless modem science and philan- 
thropy, after due study, agree that conditions cannot 
safely be ameliorated. But we must not conclude that 
because a system as system is bad that the actual con- 
ditions of tihose who suffer from it are as bad as the 
system seems to indicate on the surface. Good men 
scorn to use their power to the full, and thousands of 
Southerners refuse to take any sort of advantage of the 
negro, but strive to protect him in his rights so far as 
regard for the public weal will allow (225 f.). But 
whether a system of tutelage of a lower race be right or 
wrong, just or unjust, expedient or inexpedient, it is 

hard to bring up children of the dominant race in a civi- 
lization where certain classes of human beings do not 
count as full men (281). It is htmiiliating for some of 
us to have negroes get clear off the sidewalk in order to 
give us a superfluity of room ; and sad for us to see that 
our children seem to take this action as a matter of 
course, or even to demand it as a right. Although it is 
true that the "higher" exploit the "lower" the world 
over (216), it is peculiarly distressing to have the prime 
lesson of democracy and humanitarianism, to say noth- 
ing of Christianity, flouted by the most democratic people 
on earth, the masses of the Southern people. In order 
for a Southern man to train his children aright in the 
principles of democracy, must he try to keep them out 
of the way of temptation that besets them on all sides 
when a less developed race is held in practical subjection 
by a more developed one (223) ? That is poor training; 
and yet none of us ought to have this temptation to arro- 
gance, to impurity, to contempt for fellowmen, put in his 
children's path! When we see humane and noble men 
perfectly helpless when a mob desires to stab the state in 
its vitals by spuming the forms of its laws, and finds 
himself "compelled" to defend everything Southern be- 
cause he feels that the wretched situation is itself to 
blame, and that effects cannot be prevented as long as 
their causes obtain ; then it would seem high time to have 
something done that will relieve the situation instead 
of attempting to punish a few lawbreakers who imagine 
that they are "defending their homes," etc. 

3. Kindness cannot take the place of justice (41). 
Sympathy at a distance (137) in this case benefits no 
one, but exasperates those who feel that they are doing 
wrong, but regard themselves as choosing a less evident 
evil — ^the complete subordination of the lower race, rather 

""(Sttcle c:om'$ Caftitt'' 201 

than any possible assumption on the part of said race 
that it can ever have the rights of "the kin." Further- 
more, two things are evident : First, that even kindness, 
at a distance or close by, that is accompanied by a feel- 
ing of repugnance toward its object, cannot do its real 
work; second, that unredressed wrongs, not only to a 
"lower" people, but to the cause of democracy itself, 
cannot be wiped out by an ocean of philanthropy. Finally 
when kindness has an unnatural tinge, and one side 
feels that it is suffering injustice and the other that it 
is, even though unwillingly "forced," doing injustice — 
unless there has been a special revelation from on high 
that democracy does not apply to all men or that negroes 
are not men — ^then it follows inevitably that a "harden- 
ing process" sets in on both sides (250), and the gulf 
between the races widens and widens. A glorious spec- 
tacle for the land of freedom and churches ! 

4. Religion is just what the negro needs ; for it is a 
binding, relational force, and the negro needs relationiz- 
ing, reciprocal sympathy, higher friendship, in his moral 
life. The best types of negroes are almost invariably 
honestly religious. Though the negro type of religion 
has suffered somewhat from emotionality and superficial- 
ity, the criminal classes are not usually recruited from 
the religious (149, etc.). While the negro's "docility" 
has its weak points, his social imitativeness is a fhie 
foundation for character in a people that must undergo 
long training, and who need to be supported by a Higher 
Hope. One of the real wonders of the world has been 
certain types of Christian character among illiterate 
negroes. Industrial training for the negroes cannot save 
them without religion. Their faults are exactly those 
that will cause degeneration when their prosperity is 
merely materialistic and their morality utilitarian. They 

202 Eace SMbotHH^ in tbt %omb 

must learn that a man should not be allowed to loaf, and 
that if he does not work neither shall he eat. They need 
to learn industrial efficiency. But their imaginativeness 
and predisposition toward sensuality — I speak generally 
— are just the kind of traits that need religion as a mo- 
tive for moral conduct. And one of the fruits of the 
scientific-humanitarian study of the negro problem must 
be a decision as to what specific kinds of religious train- 
ing the negro most needs. His present forms of prot- 
estantism may not be the best for him. 

5. The combination of industrial skill and conscience 
with religion should show itself in freeing the white 
people, especially the women, from a sort of bondage to 
negro servants (182). When all the white people that 
have to do with negroes are able to set them a good 
example of respect for labor, of industrial efficiency and 
of the reality of religion in everyday life, then the whites 
will be freed without needing to use the kind of severity 
that is generally practiced in order to get orderly and 
consecutive work from negro servants and laborers. 
When there is a Christian relation between employer and 
employed the one can dispense with unsympathetic sever- 
ity, and the other will not take advantage of his em- 
ployer's kindness (214). This statement may be denied 
by some, but careful study of the alliance of efficiency 
and religion in employer and employed will demonstrate 
the truth of this contention. 

6. How can we expect the negro to be honest and 
faithful when we give him no motive (215) ? The eco- 
nomic motive is not enough for him. He frequently 
prefers time to money, and gifts to increase of wages. 
The personal touch of kindness, combined with firmness 
in requiring good results, will produce much better work 

""(Sttcle c:om^$ Caftitt^ 203 

than does either rigid justice alone or a kindness that is 
not absolutely just or is merely soft and slouchy. 

The ordinary negro does not so much want ^'social 
equality" as impartial justice along with some recog- 
nition that he is not simply a thing apart, but a human 
being that can be joked with and talked to without re- 
pugnance on the part of his employer. He is amenable 
to neither bare business nor mere mildness. Such state- 
ments as these of course need careful verification, but 
they are nevertheless based on experience. 

7. Education frees (235). Hence the need of being 
able to forecast what the negro is going to do with his 
education, and whether it will simply have the ultimate 
effect of bringing him into sharper competition with the 
white man. If there is anything certain it is this: that 
the white men of the South will not allow the law of 
"natural selection" to help the negro triumph over his 
less efficient white competitor. Call this attitude un- 
reasonable, if you will ; but the principle of love is based 
on kinship, and no abstract humanitarianism will ever be 
able to supersede that which finds its exemplification in 

Hence the study of the negro question that is de- 
manded by the situation in this country — ^not only in 
the South — must find out how to free the negro by 
education without superseding the white man's religious 
regard for the weal of all who belong to the white race. 

8. When men like Jefferson and Lincoln, not to men- 
tion others of note, believed that the negro must eventu- 
ally have his own nationality (426), and when we see 
the ties of race becoming stronger in our day all over 
the world, it will no longer do to dismiss the idea of 
colonization of the negro with the usual remark that 
it is impracticable. We can call nothing impracticable 

204 Eace flhtdoQcap in ibt ^utii 

until adequate study has shown it to be so. Such a radi- 
cal ''solution" may take many years and many millions, 
but it is astonishing how many ''impracticable" things 
become feasible when we set out to study how to meet 
an actual need. Wireless tel^;raphy, aviation, the Pan- 
ama Canal, and many other achievements have been 
called impracticable. No big problem can be disposed 
of simply by an easy comparison of birth rate and ship- 
loads. Let the sociological engineers pronounce judg- 
ment after proper study. If they find that coloniza- 
tion during a long period and costing a billion or so is 
advisable, they may be able to show how the thing can 
be done. If they cannot show the feasibility of the 
scheme, then the next best thing or things can be tried. 

9. This is not a question to be trifled with (437). 
The dilettante has handled it long enough; let us give 
the expert a chance. To drift and wait "for something 
to turn up" is a process of cowardice due to a failure 
to face the facts. If those of us who regard this negro 
problem as the most serious one facing this country are 
wrong in our opinion, let a scientific study prove us to 
be in error. There are so many of us. North and South, 
that we deserve this much consideration. Some of us 
have yet to find the man who would declare, after a 
suflicient and serious discussion, that the negro problem 
does not exist, or that it will probably "settle itself" 

ID. The negro question is not simply a Southern 
problem. It is even more than a national question. The 
world must find out what to do with its backward races. 
If enlightened America, where the problem is most acute 
and where the people are so rich and so ingenious, cannot 
help in this matter, who can ? 

''(Sttcle c:om'$ Caftitt 



Whether or not Mrs. Stowe would agree to all these 
propositions in the form in which I have put them I 
know not. But she was a generous and godly soul, and 
I believe that her version of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" of 
to-day would be a plea for a complete study of the negro 
problem, in order tfiat democracy and Christianity should 
not have to face the farcical condition in this country. 
We pretend to believe in special privileges to none and 
equal rights to all, and fight Spain in order to prove our 
sincerity; and yet refuse even to make a concerted and 
systematic attempt to rid ourselves of the spectacle of 
some millions of human beings in a state of spiritual 
slavery. We allow millions of children in a "dominant" 
race to be brought up to despise millions of their fellow- 
men, in defiance of their very school-book teaching and 
their training by the church. To all this the following 
reply is vouchsafed by a leading scientific light of this 
country: "The American people are not ready for a 
study of the negro question." In the meantime the 
leaders of thought and action in this country must not 
be surprised if the South at least, which is conscien- 
tiously striving to "hold the negro in his place," should 
complacently say to the world these words of Matthew 
Arnold : "Might till right is ready !" 

- ■■ m m^ • 


By Franz Boas^ 1912 

(This study tries to give greater currency to the principal views 
of Professor Boas on the Negro Question, especially his earnest be- 
lief that the race problem should be scientifically studied; to show 
that the author's guarded admissions of negro inferiority are 
sufficient to establish a presumption against the advisability of 
racial intermixture; and to urge the inclusion of the psychological 
study of race feeling within the scope of any future scientific study 
of the race problem.) 

This book is one of the latest (published September, 
191 1 ) that touches the negro question, and is of con- 
siderable importance not only on account of the scien- 
tific eminence of the author, but also because the book 
embodies a plea for the scientific study of race questions 
in general and of the negro problem in particular. 

The first paper, on racial prejudices, was first printed 
in 1894 in the "Proceedings of the American Associa- 
tion for the Advancement of Science," and was subjected 
to extensive criticism by Professor W. B. Smith, in his 
"Color Line" (1905). Much of Professor Smith's criti- 
cism applies rather to the logical form and to turns of 
phrasing than to the general results of Professor Boas' 
reasoning. In the present book the author has revised 
his paper in such wise that the language of the just- 
mentioned paper is less open to criticism. One could 
have wished that the author had replied specifically to 
some of Professor Smith's criticisms, not because they 
threatened the validity of his main contentions, but rather 


""Ciie q^ltiD of Ptimltftie q^att'' 207 

because Professor Smith's book is a sort of vade mecum 
with many intelligent Southerners who will not see the 
author's fuller statement of his views in the book that 
we are now considering. One is not, however, surprised 
that he does not see fit to answer a critic who uses phrases 
like the following: "Here the cards are conveniently 
shuffled and the terms changed from *race' to 'people/ 
. . . The savant has deceived himself by conjuring with 
the words 'people' and 'race.' . . . (Certain alleged 
facts) all cry out against this complacent assumption." 
Then, too. Professor Smith himself makes some state- 
ments that do not give us confidence in the entire justness 
of his insight: "Of Caucasians, the Aryan shines like 
the moon amid the stars." One would naturally think 
that the people through whom came the Bible and Chris- 
tianity had some claims to being regarded as at least a 
fairly well-lighted moon. "We have often wondered 
whether the bee might not yet overtake the man." (Per- 
haps this is meant as a joke, for Professor Smith, of 
course, does not regard evolution as being in a straight 
line, and knows that the very highly specialized structure 
of the bee makes it impossible for the insect to develop 
in the human direction.) When Professor Boas speaks 
of the fundamental difficulty for the rise of a primitive 
people being due to its being looked upon, in spite of its 
higher development, as "belonging to an inferior race," 
Professor Smith retorts: "Here again there is quietly 
assumed ever3rthing in dispute. We deny outright that 
such is the 'fundamental difficulty.' In a measure it has 
no existence at all, annulled by the prevalent doctrine 
of the equality of all men." Now, whatever may be said 
with regard to the abstract belief of the people of this 
country in the "equality of all men," I had supposed it a 
matter of common observation that nowadays, even in 
the North, in practice the doctrine is not applied to the 

2o8 Race fl)tt|)0D0£p In tiie %Qntb 

negro concretely — surely not in social matters; whereas 
in the South no pretense is made that the doctrine of the 
equality of all man is at all "prevalent" in practice, so 
far as the negro is concerned. 

On the other hand, though Professor Smith has used 
in one or two places rather harsh expressions about the 
"learned savant" (Dr. Boas), he seems to us to make 
some amends for his perfectly inadvertent display of 
incautious terms of depreciation by the following gen- 
erous tribute to Professor Boas' paper : "While, then, we 
greatly admire the testing, probing spirit of Dr. Boas, 
and thank him heartily for his broad-minded plea for 
the 'primitives,' we are unable to find in any of his pages 
anything but strong confirmation of the theses of our 
earlier chapters." 

In effect. Dr. Boas seems to be writing on the prin- 
ciple that we have no just reasons for quenching the 
smoking flax; whereas Professor Smith seems to think 
that we should at least let it quench itself with its own 
smoke, and that we should do nothing to kindle it into 
flame. I think that disinterested men will sympathize 
with Dr. Boas' purpose, and will not refuse sympathy to 
Professor Smith's "Brief in Behalf of the Unborn." To 
Professor Smith all other important public matters, such 
as tariflF and currency, sink into insignificance compared 
with the "vital matter of pure blood"; on Professor 
Boas the actual situation in the South cannot press very 
heavily, hence much of what is of deeply sincere, even 
though rhetorical, concern and anxiety in the South 
seems to him to be "emotional clamor." 


In order to be fair to Professor Boas' thought, which 
is especially interesting because of its plea for the study 

''Ciie q^ltiD of Ptlmmtie 90atr 209 

of the negro question by a man who has devoted his life 
to the investigation of "primitives," let us put before us 
a summary of his views, mainly in his own words. We 
shall then be in a position to see the bearings of our 
author's general positions, and can take up special points 
in connection with Dr. Boas' main view. 

"We must investigate in how far we are justified in 
assuming that achievement is primarily due to excep- 
tional aptitude, and in how far we are justified in assum- 
ing that the European type— or, taking the notion in its 
extremest form, that the North European type — ^repre- 
sents the highest development of mankind." (5) 

Here is his summary of his answer to the first ques- 
tion as stated above: 

"Several races have developed a civilization of a type 
similar to the one from which our own had its origin, 
A number of favorable conditions facilitated the rapid 
spread of this civilization in Europe. Among these, 
common physical appearance, contiguity of habitat, and 
moderate differences in modes of manufacture were the 
most potent. When, later on, civilization began to spread 
over other continents, the races with which modem civil- 
ization came into contact were not equally favorably situ- 
ated. Striking differences of racial types, the preceding 
isolation which caused devastating epidemics in the newly 
discovered countries, and the greater advance in civiliza- 
tion made assimilation much more difficult The rapid 
dissemination of Europeans over the whole world de- 
stroyed all promising beginnings which had arisen in 
various regions. Thus no race except that of eastern 
Asia was given a chance to develop an independent civili- 
zation. The spread of the European race cut short the 
growth of the existing germs without regard to the 
mental attitude of the people among whom it was de- 

210 Hace fl)ttl)oDosp In tbt %outi) 

veloping. On the other hand, we have seen that no 
great weight can be attributed to the earlier rise of 
civilization in the Old World, which is satisfactorily ex- 
plained as a chance. In short, historical events appear 
to have been much more potent in leading races to 
civilization than their faculty, and it follows that achieve- 
ments of races do not warrant us in assuming that one 
race is more highly gifted than the other" (i6 f.). 

Here is a statement of some of the typical facts that 
lead Professor Boas to think that the Caucasian has not 
the monopoly of the "higher" anatomical characteristics : 

"The European and the Mongol have the largest 
brains; the European has a small face and a high nose; 
all features farther removed from the probable animal 
ancestor of man than the corresponding features of 
other races. On the other hand, the European shares 
lower characteristics with the Australian, both retaining 
in the strongest degree the hairiness of the animal ances- 
tor, while the specifically human development of the red 
lip is developed most markedly in the negro. The pro- 
portions of the limbs of the negro are also more markedly 
distinct from the corresponding proportions in the higher 
apes than are those of the European. 

"When we interpret these data in the light of modem 
biological concepts, we may say that the specifically 
hiunan features appear with varying intensity in various 
races, and that the divergence from the animal ancestor 
has developed in varying directions" {22). 

Let us note also the siunmary of the results of the 
whole preliminary investigations : 

"We have found that the unproved assumption of 
identity of cultural achievements and of mental ability 
is founded on an error of judgment ; that the variations 
in cultural development can as well be explained by a 

''CHe q^ltiD of Ptimititie q^att'' 211 

consideration of the general course of historical events 
without recourse to the theory of material diflferences of 
mental faculty in different races. We have found, 
furthermore, that a similar error underlies the common 
assumption that the white race represents physically the 
highest type of man, but that anatomical and physiologi- 
cal considerations do not support these views" (29). 

We may add to Professor Boas' summary of his first 
paper two of his significant statements, the first of which 
warns us not to judge a race by one trial only, and the 
other admits the preeminence of the white race in at 
least one important characteristic: 

1. (Retardation in the development of a race) 
"would be sigfnificant only if it could be shown that it 
occurs independently over and over again in the same 
race, while in other races greater rapidity of development 
was found repeatedly in independent cases." 

2. (The white race seems to show) "a remarkable 
power of assimilation which has not manifested itself 
to any equal degree in any other race" (10). 

The second paper deals with the influence of environ- 
ment, and is thus summarized (p. 75) : 

"We are thus led to the conclusion that environment 
has an important eflFect upon the anatomical structure 
and physiological functions of man; and that for this 
reason diflferences of type and action between primitive 
and civilized groups of the same race must be expected. 
It seems plausible that one of the most potent causes of 
these modifications must be looked for in the progressive 
domestication of man incident to the advance of civiliza- 

In the third paper, "Influence of Heredity Upon Hu- 
man Types," occur two summary statements that contain 
what is essential for our purpose in reviewing the book : 

212 Hace jaDtti)oDosp in tbt %omb 

p. 76— "Even granting the greatest possible amount 
of influence to environment, it is readily seen that all the 
essential traits of man are due primarily to heredity. 
The descendants of the negro will always be negroes; 
the descendants of the whites, whites ; and we may even 
go considerably further, and may recognize that the 
essential detailed characteristics of a type will always be 
reproduced in the descendants, although they may be 
modified to a considerable extent by the influence of 
environment. I am inclined to believe that the influ- 
ence of environment is of such a character that, although 
the same race may assume a diflFerent type when removed 
from one environment to another, it will revert to its 
old type when replaced in its old environment. This 
point has not been proved by actual antliropological evi- 
dence; but it seems reasonable to make this assumption 
by analogy with what we know of the behavior of plants 
and animals. It would, of course, be highly desirable to 
clear up this question by appropriate investigations." 

P. 94 — *' . . . The differences between different types 
of man are, on the whole, small as compared to the range 
of variation in each type." 

Here is the conclusion of the paper on "Mental Traits 
of Primitive Man" : 

". . . The average faculty of the white race is found 
to the same degree in a large proportion of individuals 
of all other races, and although it is probable that some 
of these races may not produce as large a proportion 
^l of great men as our own race, there is no reason to sup- 
pose that they are unable to reach the level of civilization 
represented by the bulk of our own people "(123). 

Conclusion of chapter on Race and Language : ". . . 
Language does not furnish the much-looked- for means of 

''Ciie q^itiD of Ptimitltte 90atr 213 

discovering differences in the mental status of different 
races" (154). 

We shall allow the following quotation to represent 
the main teaching (for our purpose) of the paper en- 
titled "The Universality of Cultural Traits" : 

"There remains one question to be discussed ; namely, 
whether some tribes represent a lower cultural stage 
when looked at from an evolutionary point of view. 

Our previous discussion has shown that almost all at- 
tempts to characterize the mind of primitive man do not 
take into account racial affiliations, but only stages of 
culture, and the results of our efforts to determine char- 
acteristic racial differences have been of doubtful value. 
It appears, therefore, that modern anthropologists not 
only proceed on the assumption of the generic unity of 
the mind of man, but tacitly disregard quantitative dif- 
ferences which may very well occur. We may therefore 
base our further consideration on the theory of the simi- 
larity of mental function in all races. 

Observation has shown, however, that not only emo- 
tions, intellect and will power of man are alike every- 
where, but that much more detailed similarities in thought 
and action occur among the most diverse peoples. These 
similarities are apparently so detailed and far-reaching 
that Bastian was led to speak of the appalling monotony 
of the fundamental ideas of mankind all over the globe" 

(155 f-). 

Summary of paj^r on "The Evolutionary Viewpoint" : 
"We are thus led to the conclusion tliat the assumption 
of a uniform development of culture among all the dif- 
ferent races of man and among all tribal units is true in 
a limited sense only. We may recognize a certain modi- 
fication of mental activities with modifications of forms 
of culture ; but the assumption that the same forms must 


214 Race fl)tti)oDo£p In tiie %omb 

necessarily develop in every independent social unit can 
hardly be maintained. Thus the question with which we 
began our consideration — ^namely, whether the represen- 
tatives of different races can be proved to have developed 
each independently, in such a way that the representa- 
tives of some races stand on low levels of culture, while 
others stand on high levels — may be answered in the 
negative. If we should make the attempt to arrange the 
different types of man in accordance with their indus- 
trial advancement, we should find representatives of the 
most diverse races — such as the Bushman of South 
Africa, the Veddah of Ceylon, the Australian, and the 
Indian of Terra del Fuego — on the same lowest level. 
We should also find representatives of different races on 
more advanced levels, like the negroes of Central Af- 
rica, the Indians of the southwestern puebloes, and the 
Polynesians ; and in our present period we may find repre- 
sentatives of the most diverse races taking part in the 
highest types of civilization. Thus it will be seen that 
there is no close relation between race and culture" 

(195 f)- 
Professor Boas' paper on "Some Traits of Primitive 

Culture" does not take racial affiliation into view, hence 
we need not summarize it; moreover, it does not add 
anything in principle to the views already summarized. 
The tenth and last paper of the book deals with "Race 
Problems in the United States." Leaving aside that por- 
tion of the paper which discusses white American-Euro- 
pean mixture, and so on, let us concentrate attention on 
what Professor Boas has to say with regard to the negro 
problem specifically. After saying that the information 
that we have with respect to the negro child is "prac- 
tically without value" (p. 269), that most persons in the 
United States little realize what the African people have 

''Ci)e q^itiD of Ptimitftie B^ate" 215 

done and can do (270), our author expresses several 
opinions, the most important of which we shall quote, 
as they deal directly with the negro problem in the 

"All the different kinds of activities that we consider 
valuable in the citizens of our country may be found in 
aboriginal Africa" (270). ". . . The traits of African 
culture as observed in the aboriginal home of the negro 
are those of a healthy primitive people, with a consider- 
able degree of personal initiative, with a talent for or- 
ganization, and with imaginative power, with technical 
skill and thrift. Neither is a warlike spirit absent in the 
race, as is proved by the mighty conquerors who over- 
threw states and founded new empires, and by the cour- 
age of the armies that follow the bidding of their lead- 
ers. There is nothing to prove that licentiousness, shift- 
less laziness, lack of initiative are fundamental charac- 
teristics of the race. Everything points out that these 
qualities are the result of social conditions rather than of 
hereditary traits" (271). 

"We do not know of any demand made on the human 
body or mind in modem life that anatomical or ethno- 
logical evidence would prove to be beyond the powers 
of the negro" (271). 

After stating that in his opinion the traits of the 
American negro are adequately explained by his history 
and social status, our author makes the following state- 
ment with respect to "race instinct": "Ultimately this 
phenomenon is a repetition of the old instinct and fear 
of the connubium of patricians and plebeians, of the 
European nobility and the common people, or of the 
castes of India. The emotions and reasonings concerned 
are the same in every respect. In our case they relate 
particularly to the necessity of maintaining a distinct 

2i6 Race fl>tti)0D0£p in tiie %omb 

social status in order to avoid race mixture. As in the 
other cases mentioned, the so-called instinct is not a 
physiological dislike. This is proved by the existence of 
our large mulatto population, as well as by the more 
ready amalgamation of the I^tin peoples. It is rather 
an expression of social conditions that are so deeply 
y' ingrained in us that they assume a strong emotional 
^ value; and this, I presume, is meant when we call such 
feelings instinctive. The feeling certainly has nothing 
to do with the question of the vitality and ability of the 

"Still the questions of race-mixture and of the negro's 
adaptability to our environment represent a number of 
important problems. 

"I think we have reason to be ashamed to confess that 
the scientific study of these questions has never received 
the support either of our government or of any of our 
great scientific institutions ; and it is hard to understand 
why we are so indiflferent toward a question which is of 
paramount importance to the welfare of our na- 
tion . . . (274). The importance of researches on this 
subject cannot be too strongly urged, since the desirabil- 
ity or undesirability of race-mixture should be known. 
Looking into a distant future, it seems reasonably certain 
that, with the increasing mobility of the negro, the num- 
ber of full-bloods will rapidly decrease; and since there 
is no introduction of new negro blood, there cannot be 
the slightest doubt that the ultimate eflFect of the contact 
between the two races must necessarily be a continued 
increase of the amount of white blood in the negro com- 
munity . . . (27$). 

''While the large body of the white population will 
always, at least for a very long time to come, be entirely 
remote from any possibility of intermixture with negroes, 

''CHe q^ltiD of PtlmMtie 90m'' 217 

I think that we may predict with a fair degree of cer- 
tainty a condition in which the contrast between colored 
people and whites will be less marked than it is at the 
present time. Notwithstanding all the obstacles that may 
be laid in the way of intermixture, the conditions are such 
that the persistence of the pure negro type is practically 
impossible. Not even an excessively high mortality and 
lack of fertility among the mixed type, as compared with 
the pure types, could prevent this result. Since it is 
impossible to change these conditions, they should be 
faced squarely, and we ought to demand a careful and 
critical investigation of the whole problem (276). . . . 
The most important practical questions relating to the 
negro problem have reference to the mulattoes and other 
mixed bloods — ^to their physical types, their mental and 
moral qualities, and their vitality. When the bulky liter- 
ature of the subject is carefully sifted, little remains 
that will endure serious criticism; and I do not believe 
that I claim too much when I say that the whole work 
on this subject remains to be done. The development 
of modem methods of research make it certain that by 
careful inquiry definite answers to our problems may be 
found. Is it not, then, our plain duty to inform our- 
selves that, so far as that can be done, deliberate con- 
sideration of observations may take the place of heated 
discussions of beliefs in matters that concern not only 
ourselves, but also the welfare of millions of negroes?" 
(277 f.). 


Desiring to be not only just but even generous with 
respect to our appreciation of the possibilities of n^^o 

2i8 Race jaDtt|)oDofp in tbt %omb 

character and achievement, let us, pending the investiga- 
tion that Professor Boas does well to desiderate, accept 
our author's authority in this matter, and group together 
his most important suggestions with regard to negro 
capacity and ability. 

(i) The historical fact of achievement does not of 
itself prove capacity and ability in a race. (This gen- 
eralization cuts in two directions: While it frees the 
negro race from the imputation of infirmity because of 
its historical lack of development, it also debars us from 
insisting that the "wonderful achievements" of the Amer- 
ican negro since emancipation show forth the negro's 
real powers of cultural assimilation and racial talent. ) 

(2) Specifically, "human" features are not a monop- 
oly of the Caucasian race. (We should admit this con- 
tention simply on the assumption that Professor Boas' 
list of "human" features is the correct one. But I 
should think that ethnologists would admit the large 
speculative element in the statements that the negro's 
red lips, scantiness of hair, etc., are peculiarly human. 
May not some of the racial characteristics be due to adap- 
tation to environment, so that a feature that would be 
more "human" in the tropics would be less "human" in 
the temperate regions? If we regard the temperate 
zones as more suitable for the evolution of a higher type 
of himianity, we naturally frame our concepts of human- 
ness from the temperate zone point of view. However, 
I think that we should provisionally admit Professor 
Boas' contention as being at least the best that scientific 
speculation offers, inasmuch as we scarcely have the right 
to say that the higher type of man is necessarily produced 
in the temperate zone; nor should we allow aesthetic 
judgment to interfere with the best scientific speculation 

""Ciie q^ltiD of ptimitftie 90(itr 219 

as to what constitutes ''human" features of body and 

(3) The retardation of the negro race proves nothing 
significant when we consider the immensely long age of 
mankind's life on earth, the highly probable concept of 
the unity of the human species, and the balancing of the 
negro's retardation during the ages with his apparently 
rapid advancement in a stimulating environment. 

(We must bear in mind, however, this caution : N^ro 
retardation has not been proved to be absolute, and may 
be only relative; but the raw material of Teutonic bar- 
barians is by no means to be viewed as practically the 
same in promise as the barbarianism of Central Africa, 
to say nothing of Western Africa. Many unprejudiced 
observers of to-day would claim that an illiterate white ^. 
man of the South has more political instinct than many 
educated negroes have; nor are facts lacking to sustain 
this contention. Nor has science disproved Professor 
W. B. Smith's representative suggestion that there may 
be qualitative differences of brain tissue, whereby white 
and negro brains of equal weight and apparent develop- 
ment would by no means be equal functionally. I think 
it would be fair to say that what we know of the relative 
bodily and mental values of the whites and negroes would 
compel us in all fairness to say that, though Professor 
Boas' careful statements with regard to negro retarda- 
tion should be accepted, the presumption still remains 
against the probability that negroes and whites are in- 
trinsically equal in capacity and ability. True, the pre- 
sumption is only a presumption; but if we should find 
any positive evidence in favor of the probable inferiority 
of the negro, especially when such evidence is furnished 
by those who claim all they can for primitives, the 
"prejudice" against negro capacity and ability becomes a 

220 Race fl>ttt)oDosp in tbt 9otttf) 

probability that must be taken into practical account.) 

(4) The range of variations in each type is greater 
than the differences in type. (We should expect this in 
varieties of the same species. The important thing, per- 
haps, may be the kind and the direction of the variations, 
rather than the mere degree of variation. The mere fact 
of there being more large and heavy brains among whites, 
for instance, may not be a very significant fact in favor 
of Caucasian superiority. If along with these racial dif- 
ferences, however, go others that indicate Caucasian su- 
periority, we have a right to say that the presumption 
against the negro's equal endowment is decidedly in- 
creased by any general indication of Caucasian superior- 
ity in size and weight of brain.) 

(5) General and detailed similarities of thought and 
culture occur among most diverse peoples. All races 
show representatives among peoples and individuals of 
highest and of lowest levels. 

(Here, again, we should expect such phenomena 
among varieties of a single species. But the potentiali- 
ties of a primitive Greek mjrth or a Norwegian saga, for 
example, may be very different from those of an African 
folk tale. "What will he do with it ?" is the question that 
must inevitably be asked. Are there any signs of a great 
epic in the African civilizations? Is their folklore wis- 
dom anywise comparable to the beginnings of Greek 
philosophy or Hebrew prophecy? An underlying "con- 
cept" has little significance in human culture compared 
with the potentialities of development, I sometimes read 
a book of adventure that has been enjoyed by my chil- 
dren, and discuss it with them on seemingly equal terms. 
But I am not warranted on that account in supposing 
that my children will necessarily become interested in 
the psychological, social and philosophical ideas that in- 

''Cfie 9inD of ^timMnt ^atT 221 

terest me. Nor can I conclude that because my children 
show equal interest in adventure they will hereafter de- 
velop equally in other directions of interest and thought. 
An African tribe may develop practical wisdom superior 
to that of the early Greeks, and yet fail to make any 
aesthetic or scientific or philosophical use of its concepts. 
Some of the shrewdest observations on life that I have 
ever heard have come from illiterate negroes who have 
shown a singular incapacity for abstract thought.) 

(6) Language does not furnish us with a standard for 
comparing the capacity of a race for culture. 

(Admitting this generalization, are we therefore jus- 
tified in saying that noble literature and high philosophy 
can be expressed in African dialects? No doubt the 
African languages express all that an African needs to 
express, and that they can be so developed as to set forth 
some of the higher concepts of civilization; but is it at 
all likely that they ever can become the plastic instru- 
ments of thought in a way at all comparable to Greek 
and English? If the ethnologists and language experts 
will tell me that I am mistaken in thinking that the pre- 
sumption is against the cultural possibilities of African 
dialects, I am perfectly willing to change my views on 
the subject. Indeed, I hope that I am mistaken, and that 
every human dialect has within it possibilities of limit- 
less culture in all human directions.) 

(7) All the essentially valuable activities are to be 
found in aboriginal Africa. 

The American negro is equal to all the demands likely 
to be made on him, whether physical or mental. 

Shiftlessness, licentiousness and lack of initiative in 
the American negro are probably due to social causes. 

(Let us hope that these statements are true. All our 
generous feelings, all our chivalry, all our humaneness 


222 Race jBDttfioDosp in tbt %otttb 

should be aroused on behalf of this unforttmate negro 
people. We must, however, note carefully whether Pro- 
fessor Boas himself is altogether hopeful with regard to 
the negro's capacity and ability. 

The problem that interests us in America is not so 
much the negro's ability to prove himself equal to the 
demands likely to be made on him, but whether he is 
able to meet all the important sorts of demands that 
Caucasians have shown themselves able to meet. Grant- 
ing that negro licentiousness, lack of initiative, etc., are 
probably due to social causes, we must ask ourselves two 
further questions : i. Is it possible to remedy the negro's 
social disabilities in this country, except through mixture 
with the whites and ultimate obliteration of the color 
line? 2. If the negro should be separated altogether from 
the white race, will he be able to stand alone? If we 
must give a negative answer to these questions, our 
judgment with regard to the promise of aboriginal Afri- 
can traits will avail nothing. ) 


(i) Through a process of domestication the primitive 
races become assimilated to the civilized races. 

(2) The desirability or undesirability of race mixture 
between negroes and Caucasians should be known, for 
the differences between the races will very probably tend 
to disappear, and in time the negro race as such will dis- 
appear in America. 


If Professor Boas is correct in thinking that domes- 
tication of the negro will ultimately break down the 

''Cfie 9$int of l^timititie ^an^ 223 

color line and lead to the ''solution" of the negro prob- 
lem through fusion of the races, he and other inves- 
tigators will find that the investigation cannot content 
itself with a study of the "desirability or undesirability" 
of racial intermixture. It will have to face another 
problem: How can the whites, whose feeling of preju- 
dice against the negro is rapidly growing, be got to take 
a cool, scientific view of the probable potency of negro 
blood? Granted, for the sake of argument only, that 
the negro is intrinsically, though as yet only potentially, 
the equal of the white, can the white race be got to found 
its attitude toward the negro race on a utilitarian-ethical 
basis only, or will economic, aesthetic and historical rea- 
sons continue to operate against the full recognition of 
the negro's probable worth ? Will present historical and 
social and aesthetic prejudice against the negro be allayed 
in any way when even ethnologists who are favorably 
disposed toward primitives seem to admit the present 
substantial inferiority of the negro race? 

Even if it could be scientifically proved that an infu- 
sion of negro blood would help the white race, the preju- 
dice against a really great branch of the white race like 
the Jews is sufficient warning to us not to confine our 
discussion of race problems to the question of equality 
or inequality of physical and mental endowment. 


(i) The detailed characteristics of a race will be re- 
produced in its descendants. 

(2) Race-mixture and the negro's adaptability to otir 
environment are problematic matters. 

(3) The negro's powers of assimilation of culture arc 
apparently less than those of the white race. 

224 Race jBDrtfioDosp in tbt 9ottti) 

(4) The negroes would probably revert in large meas- 
ure to their primitive status if left unsupported by the 
white race. 

(5) The negroes will probably show for all time a 
smaller proportion of great men than the white race 
shows and has shown. 


These "five points" give us anything but a promising 
outlook for the "desirability" of race-mixture. If the 
negroes as a race are probably inferior to the whites 
with regard to the powers of assimilation, the production 
of great men, and the permanent stability of their cultural 
acquirements, and if their adaptability to our culture is 
a problematic matter; and, finally, if the negroid charac- 
teristics tend to persist, is it not the part of wisdom for 
the white race to assume that there is enough intrinsic 
inferiority in the n^ro race to justify the whites in ask- 
ing that science prove the actual desirability of race-mix- 
ture before the slightest encouragement is given to the 
process of "amalgamation" ? 

Professor W. B. Smith may be incorrect in his state- 
ment that Professor Boas' first paper contains nothing 
to justify a change of Southern attitude with regard to 
its belief in negro inferiority, but I think we should ad- 
mit in all candor that the burden of proof is thrown on 
those who believe that there is no substantial inferiority 
in the negro tace. 


(i) Race "feeling has certainly nothing to do with 
the question of the vitality and ability of the negro." 

''C))e 9inD of Ptimititie ^an^ 225 

(But belief in the negro's physical, mental and moral 
inferiority may have something to do with race feeling. 
Apparently one author's guarded admissions with regard 
to negro disability are scarcely reassuring even to those 
who are willing to view the idea of racial mixture from 
a dispassionately scientific point of view.) 

(2) One of tihe primary causes of race mixture is the 
"increasing mobility of the negro." 

(The proportion of mulattoes to negroes seems to be 
much larger in the North and the border states than in 
the South. The few instances of intermarriage of white 
and colored occur at the North with the sanction of law. 
However, the indications do not point toward the lessen- 
ing of race feeling at the North, but rather in the con- 
trary direction. Have we then any right to prophesy 
that the social discrimination against the negro will ulti- 
mately die out? And can we view with equanimity the 
idea that very light-colored mulattoes will increasingly 
"lose themselves" in the white race, because of the fail- 
ure of the whites to distinguish superficial negroid traits? 
If a slight infusion of negro blood will cause no deteri- 
oration in the white race, racial feeling may ultimately 
become a negligible quantity. But until the people of this 
country believe that even the slightest degree of mix- 
ture is innocuous, they will view with alarm any tendency 
toward the diffusion of negro blood in the white race, 
and probably race prejudice will more and more tend to 
become race enmity.) 

(3) Race "instinct" is not a "physiological dislike," as 
is "proved by the existence of our large mulatto popula- 

(But is not "physiological dislike" increasing? Be- 
sides, are our experiments in civilization to be based on 
the indiscriminateness of the sexual instinct? At the 


*l— " * — — . 

226 laace SMbotttsjf in tiie 9ontl) 

best, brute passion tends toward perversion and lustful 
orgies. Do we want our problem settled by allowing 
lust to have its way? Of course, our author will answer 
with us in the negative.) 

(4) 'Tear of the connubium" is at the basis of race- 

(This is undoubtedly true, and there is a clear parallel 
between Roman life and our own in this respect. [See 
Appendix: notes on Coulanges' Ancient City]). 

(5) "'Emotions and reasonings are the same in every 
respect," i.e., in present race-attitude in this coimtry as 
compared with that of ancient times. 

(This statement may be correct, but I doubt it Fear 
of intermarriage and "corruption" of the blood is cer- 
tainly a feeling common to present and ancient times. 
But surely the race-feeling of the twentieth century is a 
phenomenon not really paralleled in ancient times. It 
would be hard, perhaps, to state the differences in the 
"emotions and reasonings" ; but I doubt if we can reason- 
ably assume that the racial self -consciousness of to-day 
makes no difference in the attitude of the "higher" races 
toward those that are less developed. "Races" are not 
to be treated as "social classes." Indeed, one of the most 
important features of the investigation of the negro 
problem that ought to be made is just this complex race- 
consciousness of "Teutonic" peoples. ) 

(6) The peculiarity of the race-attitude of to-day con- 
sists in the whites' "retaining a distinct social status in 
order to avoid race-mixture." 

(Even so: and our author might go further and in- 
sist on a careful study of the relations of social "rights" 
to political and civic rights, because, in the South, at 
least, it seems to be assumed that all the "equalities" are 
at bottom based on potential social equality. 

If a careful scientific observer like Professor Boas 
should study the race-feeling of the Southern whites, I 
think he would find that belief in the racial inferiority of 
the negroes is common to practically all whites of the 
South. Scientific investigation must give tmequivocal 
proofs of the negro's practical equality with the whites 
with respect to body and mind before the "prejudice" 
features of the fear of racial intermixture can be at all 
reasonably attacked. 

Under the circumstances should we attempt to weaken 
the "color line" in any respect? That is tfie real race 
question. If mixture of the races can be proved to have 
no deleterious effect; if it can be shown that the ab- 
sorption of the negro population by the whites would 
not lower the potency of white blood, then there would 
at least be room for argument. But, with a reasonable 
presumption against negro ''equality/* nothing should be 
done that even squints at the ultimate obliteration of 
Southern race-consciousness. Here we stand squarely 
with Professor W. B. Smith and others that agree with 


( 1 ) We should be ashamed that our government and 
our great institutions of scientific research have not 
studied the negro question. 

(2) Practically the whole work of investigation of 
race-mixture needs to be done. 


Professor Boas' plea for the study of the race ques- 
tion is the most notable thing in his book. The race 

228 laace SMbottoijf in tht %outh 

question is a problem, as he clearly sees. Even if the 
study of race-mixture be by no means the only important 
item to be investigated, a judicial, scientific pronoimce- 
ment on that matter alone would be of incalculable ad- 
vantage. It would sharpen the whole issue, as well as 
g^ve us some practical data to work with. So long as 
"race-prejudice" is largely based on belief in negro in- 
feriority — and Professor Boas could hardly claim to have 
deprived that belief of all validity — ^we should be very 
cautious in attempting to modify a race feeling that 
probably has a rational basis. 

The real strength of race-feeling in the South does 
not, of course, reside in race-enmity, nor even in race- 
pride, but rather in the conscientious belief that under- 
lies Professor W. B. Smith's "plea for the unborn." 

Nor must we underrate the significance of strong feel- 
ing, even when it leads to excess of rhetoric and "emo- 
tional clamor." Feeling affects votes and policies; and 
so long as it cannot be shown that feeling has no prob- 
able validity, sympathy for "primitives" and abstract be- 
liefs in the equality of human "rights" have no sort of 
chance for victory as opposed to race "prejudice." 

I daresay that Professor Boas and other prominent 
men of science are quite ready to admit that the psychol- 
ogy of race-attitude is a very important phase of the race 
question and needs careful scientific study. Hence, in 
the division of labor that must obtain when a systematic 
scientific, cooperative research is organized, we may 
safely assume, I think, that all thoughtful scientific men 
will welcome the inclusion of psychological and socio- 
logical study in the scope of the investigation. 

Should science show, in spite of the reasonable pre- 
sumption to the contrary, that the absorption of the 
negroes within the white population could produce no 

''Cfie 9inn of ^timMnt ^atT 229 

serious consequences, it may be, nevertheless, that im- 
partial science will come to see the inadvisability of 
having race-friction continue for a long period of years 
because of a tenacious race-consciousness based on 
aesthetic distaste, economic competition, growing "physi- 
ological dislike," and perhaps other factors that may be 
pointed out by an investigation. The agitation in Cali- 
fornia against the Japanese is itself of sufficient diagnos- 
tic and prognostic importance to demand immediate sci- 
entific study. 

Pending the organization of scientific investigation of 
the negro problem, it is to be hoped that we shall have 
more books like that of Professor Boas, the temper of 
which is so admirable and its statements so authorita- 
tive and judicial, even though their speculative element 
must necessarily be large. 

C. Views in a Club. 



(Nov., 191 1. Read before a dub.) 

Nowadays, to the making of clubs there is no end. 
Many of them have no sufficient reason for existence. 
When, therefore, several very busy men undertake to 
establish a new club they ought, in the interest of their 
reputation for sane common sense, to give a clear-cut 
reason for their action. Having been requested by the 
original promoter of the club to give some sort of apol- 
ogy for the club's desire to live, I propose to put forward 
several questions that would seem to be pertinent, and 
attempt to give definite and rational answers that may 
prove suggestive to the members. 

I. Is a club for the study of the negro question an 
tmdertaking that is worth while in itself? 

Yes: because the negro question is intensely human 
and hence interesting ; connected with the welfare of the 
club members and their families, commimity, state and 
nation, and hence practically important; obscured by 
clouds of passion and prejudice and vapors of sentimen- 
tality and cynicism, and therefore needing the genial and 
stimulating light of moral and intellectual tolerance and 

On account of the national importance of our study, 
in case we attempt it seriously, Vicksburg is a peculiarly 
appropriate place for the projected club. The Vicksburg 
National Military Park threads its way between city and 


Clttd (or fttuDp of Bteto €ltte0tioti 231 

county domain, between private property and church 
property, and its outlook tower, hard by a school for 
Christian education, is a symbol that our club might well 
adopt as expressive of our desire to look calmly over 
the situation from a standpoint that includes witihin its 
horizon city and county, state and section, and our nation 
upon which the stars look down so peacefully to-day, 
but whose peace and higher prosperity have often been 
endangered and may yet again be threatened by the situ- 
ation that President Taft speaks of as "the most serious 
facing the American people." 

II. What can we expect to gain from such a study ? 
Besides the considerations already adduced, we may 

expect to bring about one or all of the following results : 
The better understanding of study material close to 
hand ; the production of a t)rpical club that may stimulate 
the formation of others like unto it; the demonstration 
that typical callings like medicine, business, the ministry 
and teaching can work successfully together on a prob- 
lem that affects our entire civilization. Who knows that 
this club may not be the beginning of a scientific, prac- 
tical and Christian study of the negro problem by the 
qualified people of this whole country? 

III. Why should we study the negro question just at 
this time? 

Because it is the dominant question in the economic, 
social, political and religious life of our state and the 
South, and perhaps the most serious problem that con- 
fronts the nation, the church and humanity. Further- 
more, a presidential election is coming on and promises to 
result in the election of a man of fearless and inde- 
pendent, truth-loving spirit* With an occupant of the 

presidential chair who is at once a scholar, a patriot and 
* Governor Woodrow Wilson. 

232 Race fl>ttt)oliosp in tbt %ottt!b 

a practical man of affairs, and at the same time one who 

has a Christian spirit and a humanitarian outlook, we 

may expect a thoroughgoing attempt to have our national 

problems studied disinterestedly and scientifically. Fur- 

/ thermore, this question will likely engage the attention 

y^ of the Triennial Convention of the Protestant Episcopal 

/ Church, a church that seems determined to claim its 

responsibility toward the negro race, and which is in 

close touch with the national church of England, whose 

leaders are also facing a great question of race in South 


IV. What shall be the scope of our study? 

We should use the typical material that Vicksburg 
locally commands — ^hill and delta ; city and coimtry ; river 
traffic and railroad lines; Mississippi and Louisiana. 
Then, too, we should use the special interests and talents 
of our members, who are unusually representative of the 
various points of view from which the question may be 
studied. One can reach material of the economic and 
legal kind; another, material medical and anthropologi- 
cal; another, facts pertaining to religious, moral and 
ecclesiastical matters ; the fourth, psychological and edu- 
cational data. 

V. What shall be our method ? 

As in the preceding question, so in this and others that 
follow, the club itself will have to determine what it 
wants to do. The suggestions here given are simply 
tentative and suggestive. I would suggest, in order to 
start the discussion in definite fashion, that the following 
phases be considered in our planning : i . That the mem- 
bers take turns in leading the discussion, preferably 
through papers, and that each be furnished with a copy 
of the paper that is read. 2. That the papers be based 
on observations, conversations, letters, readings, as well 

Clud (or ^uDp of JOe0to €ltte0tion 233 

as on well-ascertained first-hand facts when they can be 
got. 3. That a record be kept of the discussions. 4. 
That a schedule for eight meetings be arranged, consist- 
ing of one paper from each member of the club as at 
present constituted, followed by a paper or discussion 
based on the members' papers, by some invited guest 
who is well qualified to add something to the discussion. 

5. That whenever the club is unanimously of the opinion 
that a visitor would be of service in the discussion of 
the topic, efforts be made to have such a person attend. 

6. That our proceedings and the record thereof be so 
conducted that it will be possible to prepare our results, 
or some portion of them, for publication, without tmdue 
expenditure of time and effort. 

VI. How can we secure among ourselves a fair, im- 
partial and disinterested attitude with regard to the ques- 
tion before us ? 

By cultivating a mental attitude formed by something 
like the following processes: Full, frank and explicit 
statement of views; sincere self-criticism and patient 
submission to the incisive criticism of others ; sifting and 
verifying all alleged facts; questioning all generaliza- 
tions ; willingness to doubt views not sustained by veri- 
fied facts; eschewing right heartily the vice of infalli- 
bility with regard to our own feelings, impressions, views 
and habitual attitudes. 

VIL With whom shall we cooperate ? 

With those who can probably be got to favor and pro- 
mote a scientific and a Christian study of the question. 
Professional philanthropy and dilettante juggling with 
statistics should be no more to our taste than partisan 
politics and effervescent emotionalism. Careful workers 
like Hoffman, Boas, DuBois and Odum, even though 
they may have their personal views that we need not 

234 Bace £Dit|ioliofp in tht %ontb 

accept, can help us because of their sincerity and their 
fitness to do investigaticmal work. Some of the promi- 
nent church leaders hold balanced and statesmanlike po- 
sitions and can aid us in our study of the relation of 
Christianity to our problem. Occasionally we may find 
one who is not a professed student of the problem, but 
who is nevertheless well qualified by temperament and 
experience and native insight to further our study. It 
should be a part of our task to get into touch with repre- 
sentatives of the classes just mentioned, and to help 
them as well as try to be helped by them. 

VIII. Shall we set forth the basal assumptions on 
which we proceed? If so, what are they? 

Yes, we should be clearly conscious of what we regard 
as necessary fundamental assumptions, if we would avoid 
cross-purposes and the generation of heat rather than 

What these assumptions are must be determined later. 
Just now I shall venture to state two that I regard as all- 
important: I. We should hold to the general principles 
of organic, psychical and social evolution as indicated in 
the celebrated phrases, Natural Selection and The Sur- 
vival of the Fittest. We must regard ourselves as a 
chosen people, and therefore with no right to lower the 
standard of our race and nation. 2. We should firmly 
hold to the broad principles of Christianity and De- 
mocracy, and the sane principles of liberty, equality and 
fraternity which spring from Christian and democratic 

I think that we dare not deny either the naturalistic or 
the idealistic basis of modem thought. If these two 
general assumptions do not seem to square with each 
other, it behooves us to reconcile them as well as we may, 
but on no account give up either of them. Nature and 

Cluti (ot ^uDp o( jOegto iXue0tion 235 

spirit cannot ultimately be at war. If we are merely 
naturalistic, we shall assuredly be lacking in apprecia- 
tion of the spiritual values without which our civilization 
is vain. If we take the spiritual point of view only, we 
are in danger of leaving the truths of science out of 
account, and these truths must come from the same 
Author who is the Source of spiritual power. 

There is a third assumption that is a necessary impli- 
cation of what has just been said, and which must be 
held if we do not wish to indulge merely in more or less 
pleasing intellectual exercise, — namely, that the so-called 
negro question is a real problem, but one which can be 

IX. Having in our club representatives of the busi- 
ness, clerical, medical and psychological attitudes, shall 
we call in representatives of the legal, literary and other 
viewpoints ? 

Yes, if our own little group, after assimilating one 
another, believes that it can assimilate others sufficiently 
like-minded with ourselves. Hence it is advisable for 
us to understand one another pretty thoroughly before 
attempting to introduce others who may waste our time 
or who may have temperaments or attitudes that cannot 
be got to work harmoniously with our own. We have 
no monopoly of the negro question, and others are per- 
fectly free to discuss the question and form clubs in 
any way they may wish. Hence, under the heading of 
''organization," I shall advocate plans that will tend to 
keep our club from dissipating its energies and yet at 
the same time keep itself in touch with the very best 
thought on the subject in which we are interested. 

X. What shall be our organization? 

Again I give a few suggestions merely for the purpose 
of starting the discussion, for the dub itself ought to 

236 Eace fl)tti)0D0£|» in ti^e %otttb 

determine its own organization, after each member has 
been heard fully. 

1. Meetings every fortnight, on a definite night of 
the week. 

2. Meetings held in rotation at the members' homes. 

3. Definite time-limit for adjournment. 

4. Host to notify members and guests on the day of 
the meeting, and to act as chairman. 

5. Agreement as to nature and time of refreshments 
(evening meal?). 

6. No new members without unanimous consent. 

7. No new member to be elected until he has visited 
the club at least three times, and has agreed to the plans 
and procedure of the club. 

8. Invitations to guests only by unanimous consent. 

9. No publicity to proceedings except by unanimous 

10. No dues, except pa)rment of the expenses of visi- 
tors and special dues by unanimous consent. 

If the club wishes it I shall present orally a list of 
subjects, with suggestions as to the points needing inves- 
tigation; also a list of speakers and topics for the next 
eight meetings, alternating members and visitors in such 
wise that there will be two discussions on each topic, one 
led by a member and another by a visitor. 

I am also prepared to give a list of books that are 
accessible, most of which I have worked over quite care- 
fully. If each member can procure a book or two, we 
shall easily be able to get access to the chief works on 
the subject that are worth while. 

* Acting in the spirit of this paper, I secured the consent of 
each member of the dub before making public use of club material. 
I thank these gentlemen for giving their cordial consent 

Clud (ot ^uDp o( jOegto iXue0tion 237 

I may also state that I have written a number of papers 
on our subject and shall be glad to have the members 
make use of them. They may not have much value, but 
will at least prove suggestive, coming as they do from 
one who has made a somewhat special study of the ques- 
tion during the last eight years. 



(Dec. I, 191 1, to Jan. 12, 1912) 

(These notes are given simply as a "sanqile." I wish to thank 
the members of the dub for permission to publish these "minutes.'*) 

The club began its existence in this wise: A certain 
clergyman was very much interested in the discussion in 
the Episcopal church relative to the negro, and found 
himself anxious to know more about the whole subject 
Finding that a certain psychologist and educator whom 
he had come to know well had been working on the negro 
question for eight years, said clergyman proposed one 
evening that an informal club be organized, to consist 
of four members : the clergyman, the educator, a promi- 
nent physician, and a prominent business man — all na- 
tive Southerners (a Virginian, a South Carolinian, and 
two Mississippians), all Democrats and all Episcopal- 
ians. The proposer further suggested that meetings be 
held every fortnight after the evening meal; that each 
member entertain in turn; that no publicity be given to 
the meetings ; that no more members be added until the 
four charter members had assimilated one another's 
views; that the educator formulate a plan for the first 
meeting. The clergyman agreed to speak to the others 
mentioned for membership. 

Here follow brief notes of the meetings; the papers 
read; the discussions held; and other matters more or 


PtoceeDin90 o( matc\ito)ntt Cluti 239 

less pertinent to the club and its purpose. Roman figures 
refer to meetings, Arabic figures to remarks made by 

I. (Dec I, 191 1 ) 

One absent ; one tired ; one the host ; the fourth, reader 
of the outline plan. 

The following paper was read by the psychologist- 
educator: (See paper by T. P. B. Title— Qub for the 
Study of the Negro Question.) 


Paper and its plan approved. Some talk about books 
mentioned by the writer of the paper. Desultory discus- 
sion. Net result: Recommendations of paper adopted; 
supper voted successful; tired man got a little livelier 
after digestion got a headway ; amicable adjournment. 

II. (Dec 16, 191 1 ) 

All members present. Prominent ecclesiastic of the 
Episcopal church also present as invited guest. Chair- 
man explains object of club to guest. 


I am especially, and naturally, interested in the spirit- 
ual side of this question, for it is fundamental, in all deep 
human questions, and especially in this one wherein the 
interests of civilization and Christianity are at stake 

Tr3nng to make a hopeful start in the discussion, I 
want to say that I think the negro is gaining industrially 

■ fc -.m'^t 

240 Eace SHtbohoi^ in tbt %outb 

and morally through industrial education. (Here the 
guest mentioned several towns in his state where negro 
farming is improving on account of the work of negro 
industrial schools.) It is interesting and important to 
note that white people who have been opposed to the 
negro industrial schools in these communities are now 
among their warmest friends. 

The only apparently valid objections that I have heard 
urged against these schools is that their graduates do not 
become better laborers and cooks and nurses working for 
the whites in the community, but go out into "higher 
class" occupations. I regard this as inevitable, in the 
case of both whites and blacks. The demand for trained 
labor is larger than the supply, and we cannot expect 
these trained negroes not to be snapped up by those who 
need them in more technical and more highly paid work. 

As I started out by saying, the spiritual aspect of the 
question is all-important. The best industrial schools 
will amount to nothing if character is not improved by 
them; but it so happens that training for honest labor 
is the best introduction to spiritual culture, especially in 
a race that has not learned the dignity of labor. Many 
individuals in the South are willing to give the negro 
industrial education, but balk at giving them the suf- 
frage. In my opinion, such political questions are not 
important. The suffrage is not a right, but a privilege. 
Usefulness and happiness do not depend on it. With- 
holding the suffrage is a matter of social expediency. 
Real freedom comes through the freedom of spiritual 
life. Religion frees men from sin, wrong, materialism, 
ignorance, which are the things that really enslave. The 
suffrage does not free the real spirit. Onesimus was 
a freeman of Christ, though he remained a slave. 

PtoceeDing0 o( SQatciitoloet Cluli 241 


1. Do not civilization, democracy and Christianity 
include political privil^es in their program of freedom ? 

2. Yes, and these privileges ought to come in time; 
but they are not now socially expedient. 

3. The trouble is that most whites in substance de- 
cline to look on the negro as a fellowman in any worth- 
while way. This is the crux of the question, and spirit- 
ual freedom can hardly come under such circumstances. 
I see little hope for the negro's advance in civilization 
when I reflect that the negro enjoyed intercourse with 
the high civilization of North Africa for generations, but 
seemed to get nothing from it. 

4. We know very little of what they did get. Indeed, 
white civilization of that region and of many others 
seemed to get wiped out, leaving very little behind. The 
average modern Greek bears little resemblance to the 
free Athenian citizen of the age of Pericles. Besides, 
African tribes did seem to gain something from the 
Arabs they came into contact with, for the tribes with 
Arab blood seem to be the highest. And it may be that 
environmental influence as well as inherited traits helped 
to bring these favored tribes up to a higher standard. 

5. Ancient civilization had too little spirituality to 
do much for the negro or any other subordinate people. 

6. Perhaps; but, as Bryce and Boas point out, our 
modern race prejudice seemed to be little in evidence in 
ancient times ; and negroes probably had as good a chance 
proportionately as had any other subordinate people. 
We find no ancient records of prejudice against the 
negroes. But it is precarious to draw any conclusions 
from a situation that we know so little about, more 
especially as we find it only too difficult now to draw 

242 Eace SMbotitftf in tbt %outb 

any satisfactory conclusions about any present aspect 
of the negro question, even when prejudice does not 
blind us. 

7. This whole problem is complicated by the fact 
that there are very few pure negroes. 

8. There are, I think, very many negroes who are 
near enough full-blooded to count as pure negroes for 
all practical purposes. Those extremists who deny that 
there are any full-blooded negroes should apply their de- 
ductions to the whole human race. There are no pure 
races anywhere. However, it is no doubt true that some 
branches of the white race amalgamate with the negroes 
more readily than do others, and there may be biological 
reasons for the fact. Undoubtedly one of our members 
was right in saying that the psychology of race prejudice 
is fundamental in the discussion of the whole question, 
and another member may be right in holding that there 
is a biological reason for differences in race prejudice. 
Some ethnologists hold that the "Mediterranean race" 
in prehistoric times got an infusion of negro blood. 
Others think that the Japanese have negro blood in 
them. If these authorities are right, we should not in- 
discriminately claim that amalgamation leads to bad 
biological and psychological results. However, this 
phase of the question need not concern us practically, 
for the Southern whites will not entertain the idea of 
amalgamation, and none of us wants them to do so. 
Opposition to amalgamation, now and hereafter, and 
disbelief in the advisability or the practical possibility of 
it, are two of the planks in the club's platform of assump- 
tions wherewith we begin the study of the negro question. 

PtoceeDing0 o( SQatcirtoloet Cluli 243 

III. (Dec 28, 191 1 ) 

No guest present. The business man discussed in- 
formally : 

Treatment of the Negro in the Courts 

The negro is better treated in Virginia than in Missis- 
sippi. Older traditions and fewer negroes. 

In a certain locality well known to me negroes are 
convicted for the same crimes committed tmder the same 
conditions and through the same kind and amount of 
proof, — 'I claim, I say, that negroes are convicted under 
conditions practically identical with those that lead to 
acquittal of whites. This is notoriously true of trials for 
murder. (Here the business man gave some illustra- 
tions. ) 

2. But are not whites prosecuted and sometimes con- 
victed for crimes that negroes are not even prosecuted 
for, — for instance, bigamy ? 

3. Yes ; but that indicates how little the whites regard 
the sacredness of family life among the negroes. 

4. I for one cannot help taking up for the negroes 
on occasions when they are unjustly treated in my own 
town; but when I go North I am not willing to admit 
that negroes are generally unfairly treated in the South. 

5. Yes, many Southern writers and speakers seem to 
share your attitude on the subject They do not feel 
called on to tell the whole truth, even when telling noth- 
ing but the truth. And when one does not tell the whole 
truth he is more than likely to tell the truth he does tell 
in discriminating fashion that may really lead to obscura- 
tion of substantial truth. What we need are facts and 
figures properly explained, and a belief that the whole 
truth is best in the long run. 

244 Race fDttbonotf in tiie %outb 

6. I have little faith in facts and figures in such mat- 
ters as this. White men are declared to be innocent be- 
cause "whites are not criminal" ; negroes are declared to 
be "criminal in nature," and hence in the interests of 
society should not have the benefit of the doubt. There 
is always a precedent presumption of the white man's 
innocence and the negro's guilt, and hence "facts and 
figures" mean nothing. 

7. True enough, facts and figures may be misin- 
terpreted; but if we had stenographic accounts of trials 
and all the circumstances of the cases detailed, even a 
few typical cases would show whether or not race preju- 
dice interfered with true judgments. If we are to give 
up truth-seeking simply because it is hard to establish 
the truth, our club has no reason for existence. If truth- 
loving conservatives will band themselves together 
throughout the length and breadth of the South, radical 
public opinion cannot hurt it, provided the conservatives 
convince the radicals, as they can very easily, that con- 
servatives believe as much in white supremacy as the 
radicals do, and are as averse to amalgamation and to 
sentimental philanthropic abstractions. But so long as 
educated and morally enlightened people stifle the truth 
and put local patriotism or "economic necessity" before 
the white light of truth, we cannot hope to have the 
negro problem studied. Give us a number of actual 
parallel cases wherein whites and blacks, respectively, 
are concerned, and let the record speak for itself. If 
the United States Government did not take care of cases 
of peonage. Southerners going North on a visit would 
be ordinarily unwilling to admit the existence of peon- 
age at the South. Even as things are, when Northerners 
come South we carefully distract their attention from 
the raw places in our civilization, for they readily 

]^toceeDing0 o( SQatcfitotaiet Cluli 245 

spond to our well-known urbanity and hospitality. They 
pass by cases of practical peonage right under their 
noses, because they do not know where, when, or how 
to look for them, unless such cases are very gross and 
plainly illegal, so that evidence is well on the surface. 

8. But isn't it perfectly evident from a study of 
lynchings that the blacks suffer from race prejudice? 

9. Yes, to us that know all the circumstances. But 
how often do we know the circumstances, and how much 
better is a case at law where we can obtain accurate 
results and can study the phenomena at our leisure? 
Moreover, isn't it dangerous for us to take sides against 
our own people without having a great mass of indis- 
putable facts and figures to sustain us? Finally, what 
we think is not so important as what we can prove. Who 
knows that lynchings are due to race hatred rather than 
to fear that the negroes will rebel against the whites? 
Isn't there much of something akin to hysteria about 
lynchings? And should we risk our case on such ab- 
normal phenomena, when we can get accurate facts in 
the courts? If the South is to lead in this investigation, 
let us begin by telling the whole truth and shaming the 
devil. It is not enough to get facts and figures: we 
need to get detail, accurately taken and transcribed, with 
all the attendant circumstances. Further: we must not 
claim that a large humanitarian question concerns us 
alone. Such Bourbonism does not fit the twentieth cen- 
tury, and the world will no more admit our claim than 
it did in the case of slavery. 

Our club members are all Southern sympathizers, and 
believe in the substance of the Southern contention. But 
are we prepared to give a reason for the faith that is in 
us? And are we prepared to study this question scien- 
tifically? If so, we must away with suppression of 

246 Eace fl)tti)ODO£|» in ti^e %outb 

truth. If we have a case, let us stand by die facts, all 
the facts, and nothing but the facts, so help us God. 
Let us take the lead in this investigation, not only be- 
cause we are most concerned, but also because we have 
nothing to conceal and are willing for science to probe 
to the uttermost. Covering up yellow-fever did not pay ; 
assuredly attempts to hide any portion of the truth will 
lead to failure and shame, and will hopelessly discredit 
us in the eyes of humanity. 

IV. (Jan. 12, 1912) 

No one was ready with a paper. A distinguished 
guest was fortunately present We discovered that he 
had a paper on the need of more missionary effort on 
behalf of the negroes. So we prevailed on him to read 
his paper. 


The paper may reach our records ultimately. But wc 
must content ourselves now with a few notes furnished 
by one of our number who had been asked to make sug- 
gestions with regard to the paper. 

1. I don*t think it quite accurate to say that there is 
any degree of growing skepticism and cynicism among 
the n^roes. Most of them, even among the higher 
classes, don't know enough philosophy to be either skep- 
tics or cynics. They are becoming more careless and 
indifferent, less docile and reverent, more interested in 
other things, especially their lodges, as shown by Dr. 
H. W. Odum in his recent book. 

2. In regard to such an expression as "persecuting 
the church," I should prefer to say that Episcopalians 

]^to(eeDing0 oC SQatciitotaiet Cluli 247 

among the negroes must run the gauntlet of social criti- 
cism and sneering because they are few in number and 
dearly marked off aesthetically and socially from the 
great masses of their fellow-religionists. Whether this 
can be called "persecution" in any sense is a question. 

3. When our honored guest says that race culture 
leads to race pride, and thctt to race segregation, he is 
speaking of a tendency native to most of us of the 
dominant race. Our pride is based on belief in our 
superiority. Does the negro really believe in his superi- 
ority as a race ? And, on the other hand, is the superior 
negro trying to claim that his race is equal to the white 
man or superior to him, or is he not rather claiming his 
own superiority to the majority of the whites that he 
personally knows, but who pretend to be his social supe- 
riors ? Do not these superior negroes want to segregate 
with their spiritual kind rather than with low, illiterate 
people of their own race ? Are they willing to throw in 
their lot entirely with the lower race? All these ques- 
tions may conceivably be answered in the affirmative, 
or in the negative; but I am not willing to state that 
race culture will have this or that effect when I know 
that the leaders among the negroes differ among them- 
selves on this question, and when some of them are in- 
censed at being treated as members of a race rather than 
as gentlemen by the grace of God. Segregation and 
race patriotism are easy in the absence of physical pro- 
pinquity, but not so easy in the physical presence of a 
dominant race that will on no account admit the rights 
of personality for its own sake regardless of race, color 
and previous condition of servitude. 

4. In this whole discussion what has been said of 
our duty to evangelize the negro and our duty of prac- 
ticing Christian love is all right, but we must remember 

248 Eace ttMbonetjf in tbt %otttb 

that neither Christianity alone nor science alone can 
solve a problem like this. We need the tnotive of the 
Christian and the method of the man of science. 

Another member of the club made some trenchant 
remarks as to the unfitness of the Episcopal church to 
deal with the emotional negro. But it was pointed out 
that the English church does deal with them successfully 
in Uganda, in Jamaica and elsewhere, and that the 
Roman Catholics know how to deal with them. Be- 
sides this, as our guest well said, the Episcopal church 
need not impose on the negro the exact liturgical and 
dogmatic culture that it bestows on its white members. 

Other worth-while remarks were made by other mem- 
bers, but the scribe was not forehanded enough to get 
them down. 



(Syllabus prepared at the request of a prominent physician.) 

"It would be impossible, as well as unnecessary, in a 
contribution of this character to review in detail the 
general physiological peculiarities which distinguish the 
negro from the white man. The same general complaint 
must be entered here as in dealing with other phases of 
the comparative study of the race — ^viz., the abundance 
of personal impressions and lack of actually recorded 
facts." — Rudolph Matas, M.D., "The Surgical Peculiari- 
ties of the Negro," in "Transactions of the American 
Surgical Association," 1896, p. 504. 

The following are a few samples of the kind of ulti- 
mate questions that need to be asked from the point of 
view of the scientific and practical physician who believes 
that the settlement of the negro question is dependent in 
large measure on the physical possibilities of the negro 

I. Is the negro becoming adapted to his environment, 
physical and social ? Does he show adaptability superior 
to that shown by other backward races? Is there any 
indication in his physiological functions and in his 
anatomical structure that he is capable of standing the 
strain of civilization? In his physical nature is there 
any indication that he will be unable to found an inde- 
pendent civilization of his own? 



250 Kace fSMboiotji in tbt %otttb 

2. Is he showing physical improvement or is he de- 
generating? If the latter, is the degeneration due to 
his inherent unfitness or is it due to preventable causes? 
Is there any indication that the process of degeneration 
can be arrested by proper hygienic and sanitary meas- 

3. What are the differences between negroes and 
whites that seem to have a bearing on the general ques- 
tion? (Color and hair, for instance, seem to be more 
stable than feature. ) How far are the differences struc- 
tural and how far functional? (For instance, cranial 
sutures and their alleged premature ossification.) 

4. Has the negro any strong potentialities as a race ? 
Is it true that he has physical qualities that fit him for 
some particular phase of the world's work and progress ? 

5. What are the real effects of admixture of white 
blood? Is it likely that mixture of negro with Mongo- 
lian would have good results? (The Japanese, for in- 
stance, are thought to have negro blood. ) Can anything 
really definitely scientific be ascertained as to the stamina 
of the mulatto? As the mulatto merges into the negro 
through successive darkenings, does the resultant mix- 
ture show improvement or does it show physical weak- 
ness or degeneration? 

6. Through the processes of natural selection will 
the negro rise by means of the superior qualities of the 
minority of the race or will the majority assimilate the 
minority to itself, with a final result of degeneration? 

7. Is there anything in the medical and surgical 
aspect of the question that will throw light on the negro's 
educability? Does he stand the confinement and the 
strain of education as well as the white race does ? Does 
he really show a slowing down of intelligence at the 

Btgto from Pl)p0ician'0 Point of 9ietai 251 

stage of adolescence, or is this true only of a certain 
proportion of the race ? 


1. Temperament. What real facts go to show that 
the negro has a racial temperament (lymphatic, accord- 
ing to Matas and others)? Is there something of the 
"peristaltic" about the negro's movements and reactions ? 
Are his apparent indifference and laziness in part due to 
this peristaltic type of reaction ? Is he losing his primi- 
tive "temperament"? Has his apparent "fibroid diath- 
esis" anydiing to do with his "lymphatic temperament," 
or are both these expressions vague guesses ? 

2. Characteristic Diseases. Can a connection be 
traced between the negro's supposed temperament and 
the kinds of diseases relatively peculiar to him? Is he 
losing his supposed peculiarities with regard to charac- 
teristic diseases? Does he show any peculiarities with 
regard to stimulants and narcotics? Does his "temper- 
ament" show itself in his behavior under the influence 
of drugs? Has he "favorite medicines"? Is there any 
indication that he needs to be treated medicinally in a 
different way from white people? 

3. Degeneration. Does he show characteristic ab- 
normalities? Are they in any wise diathetic? Are his 
stigmata of degeneration as pronounced as in the case 
of the whites? Does he increasingly show a tendency 
to develop these stigmata? How does he compare with 
the whites as to idiocy and insanity? Is there any real 
indication that the so-called strain of civilization is tell- 
ing on the negroes? Is there much difference in this 

252 Kace S)ttf)0D0f9 in tbt %otttb 

respect between the negroes and the mulattoes? (Com- 
parison of negroes and mulattoes is implied in all these 
questions. ) 

4. Vitality. Is the loss of fertility among the ne- 
groes an indication of degeneracy, or simply due to such 
causes as are normal to civilization? Is this loss in- 
creasing, decreasing or stationary? If the negro retains 
his "lymphatic temperament" (admitting, for the sake of 
argument, that the race naturally has such a temper- 
ament), is it likely to characterize a race that has such a 
diathesis as the negro has? Is the negro's strong sex- 
uality and the supposed "freshness" of the female geni- 
tals a factor in fertility? If so, is there reason to believe 
that the negro will increase in fertility when he becomes 
more hygienic? 

Is there any relation between fertility and vitality and 
stamina? Is the negro's supposed loss of stamina due 
to causes not inherent in his raciality, but rather due to 
temporary maladjustment to his environment? Is he 
holding his own well, as to stamina, fertility, etc., con- 
sidering his handicaps? Would the white race do any 
better under similar circumstances? 

Is the negro's continence increasing or decreasing? 
Is there any relation between degeneration and incon- 
tinence? Is there indication that prostitution is on the 
increase, and that a measure of the decrease in fertility 
is due to this cause? 

5. Development. Does the negro show any peculiari- 
ties with regard to adolescence, senescence, the climac- 
teric, etc. ? What are the facts with regard to the sup- 
posed arrest of brain development at puberty? 

Jl^egro (torn Pl)p0ician'0 Point of 9ietai 253 


Will it be possible to study a group of negro house- 
holds intensively, so that some approximation may be 
made to a qualitative explanation of its vital statistics? 
Figures often are susceptible of misinterpretation unless 
we can check them through intensive study of small 

Some of the data that should be studied intensively: 
Birth rate, infant mortality, death rate, mortality of 
mulattoes as compared with approximately pure negroes. 
See Willcox in "Bulletin of U. S. Census for 1910/' 
also in Stone's "American Race Problem." 


Under this head would it be possible to study a small 
group of school children intensively, and perhaps a hos- 
pital group and a family group? Such data as skeleton, 
skull, lung capacity, hair, color, muscular and glandular 
development, and the like. 

No ethnological and anthropological study of the in- 
tensive type has ever been made. Such a study would 
prove immensely suggestive, would lead to special studies, 
would check the evidence from statistics, and so on. 


Here, again, would it be possible to study a group of 
homes, so that exact data could be obtained? In this 
and other studies could the cooperation of colored physi- 
cians be obtained and their statements duly checked? 
Could prominent negroes be got to cooperate in some 

254 Bate iaOrtfioDocp in tbt %otttb 

such investigation, or could die thing be done without 
their full cooperation ? 

Here are some of the points : Personal hygiene ; diet ; 
clothing; ventilation; disposal of refuse; heat and cold; 
sleep; sexual habits; endurance in work and play; hy- 
gienic treatment of children, especially infants and ado- 


Could medical practitioners collect important psycho- 
logical data such as come within their scope, such as 
the self-control, energy, foresight, excitement, emotion, 
etc., of the negro? Also such traits as are shown in 
telling symptoms, obeying directions, nursing, criminal- 
ity, childishness, hoodlumism, and the like? 

The most useful psychological facts are those that are 
most evidently connected with bodily condition Hence 
the physician's data ought to be the most useful to the 
psychologist, if they are exact and minute. Psychologi- 
cal facts are of little use unless they are microscopically 
exact and are recorded at once. Experiments show that 
the memory cannot be trusted in these matters. 

The above questions are, of course, intended simply 
to connect this phase of the study with a general point 
of view and to indicate some of the things that those of 
us who have been studying this question a long time want 
to know. 



(Prepared at the request of a well-known clergyman.) 

I. Nature of the negro. 

II. What the church has done. 

III. What the church is doing. 

IV. What the church might do. 


1. Instinctive Tendencies of the Negro (see paper 
by T. P. B., read before Southern Psychological So- 
ciety at Chattanooga, Dec., 191 o.) // the negro is sen- 
sational rather than relational, emotional ("affective") 
rather than intellectual; if science, law and theology are 
not his strong points; if he has to be trained to them in 
a way not necessary with the Caucasian race, — is the 
ordinary machinery of the Episcopal church likely to 
do much for him? 

Is the negro gregarious, appropriative and expressive, 
rather than responsive, perceptive and assertive (and so 
on with higher tendencies) ? 

2. Psychological Processes of the Negro. Does the 
negro show strong affective qualities (pleasure, pain, 
sensitivity, emotion) ? Is he weak in intellect (imagina- 
tion, imitation, assimilation) ? Is his so-called imitative- 
ness nothing but gregariousness ? Is his supposed im- 


256 Eace S>ttbotiox9 in ttt 9ontt) 

aginativeness only expressiveness? Is his power of as- 
similation, such as it is, only the mere associative process 
connected with innate appropriativeness ? 

Is he weak in attention power, persevering endeavor, 
constancy in pursuit? If so, he is deficient in will. 

Does he show the deep character attitudes of interest, 
belief and anticipation? For instance, is his "interest" 
in heaven a real power of imagination and anticipative 
hope, or is it a merely sensuous complex of organic sen- 
sations ? 

If the negro shows unbridled affectivity rather than 
intellectuality and volition, is this due to his immaturity 
or is it due to innate weakness? 

Whatever the cause, if we attribute lack of intellect 
and will to the negro, will it be possible to Christianize 
him by predominantly intellectual and volitional culture? 

In discussing this question must we make a decided 
difference between real negro and mulatto? Are negro 
Episcopalians nearly all mulattoes? Are negro church- 
men prevailingly low church, making due allowance for 
circumstances, or do they simply "ape" the whites ? 



I. How much do we know of the real Christianity 
and churchmanship of the negroes under slavery? Did 
the clergymen of antebellum times use different methods 
for the negroes than those employed for the whites? 
Was their churchmanship merely personal or was it really 
institutional? Was it manners and morals^ due to do- 
mestic training, or was it in any sense spiritual? Did 
the negroes show any tendency under slavery to break 

Ciie iSegto anD tbt tfpi0copal Ctintcti 257 

away from the Episcopal church and go to other com- 
munions ? 

2. Did the church change her methods when the 
negroes were freed? Was change advisable? Have 
missionary methods been extensively used in the evan- 
gelization of the negroes by the Episcopal church ? Has 
the Episcopal church ever been aggressive in work among 
the freemen? If so, where and what were the results? 
Has there been any study of negro character on the part 
of the church which is supposed to adapt her work to 
the culture state and race characteristics of various 



I. In considering die needs of the neg^x)— racial 
bishops, etc. — has any account been taken of th^ negro's 
characteristics ? Has diere been any careful effort made 
to determine (i) what the negro needs, and (2) what 
the negro wants? Is anyone suggesting any changes 
in the church's cult in adaptation to the negroes? Do 
we really know anything much with regard to the "per- 
secution" of negro Episcopalians by their brethren of 
other churches? Do negro Episcopalians have any con- 
fidence in the adaptability of the church to the negro 
race? Is any study being made as to the methods of 
the Church of England in the mission field ? What were 
the methods in Uganda, for instance, and how much 
real success did they achieve? How about other parts 
of Africa and the West Indies ? When Church of Eng- 
land and other churches have an equal chance at the 
negroes, which church gets hold of them best, and which 

258 Bace jBDtttioDocp in tbt ftontb 

produces most satisfactory results in practical life and 
character ? 



What might the church do? Make a careful study — 
an exhaustive, detailed, expert study of results in one or 
two parishes ? Try various discreet evangelistic methods 
especially adapted to the negroes ? Get laymen to cham- 
pion church work among the negroes? Prove to lay- 
men that the money put into negro schools and churches 
is really bringing results tha^ are better worth while than 
the results would be if put into some other venture in 
behalf of the negroes or of whites that do not know the 
Episcopal church ? 

2. Can any "white" church do anything for the ne- 
groes in this country so long as the whites insist on keep- 
ing the negroes in a state of spiritual subordination? 
Will white churchmen permit the church to offer the 
negro full spiritual freedom in the future, a freedom 
that applies to the whole man, — "privileges," such as the 
full ecclesiastical suffrage, included? Do whites regard 
the suffrage, social recognition of worthy individuals, 
etc., as "privileges" to be accorded by one race to an- 
other, when it suits the convenience of the dominant race 
to accord them? Are we asking the negro to live in a 
fools' paradise that we would not be willing to live in 
ourselves? Are we doing to them as we would have 
them do to us? If not, why not? Shall we ask of them 
a degree of "humility" and "patience" that we would 
not ask of whites of similar grade of culture? If so, 
why? Do we suppose that we can win the negroes by 
s^^egating them absolutely in the church and then ex- 

Cf)e Begto anD tbt tfpi0copal Ctiutcti 259 

pcct them to obey our bishops and General Convention? 
Are we willing to trust them with the espiscopate, which, 
in its present form, is a product of Caucasian develop- 
ment ? - ' ^ 

3. Will the church leave the study of the negro ques- 
tion to purely secular agencies that care nothing about 
the negro's soul? Is the church trying to get more 
money for the work among the negroes when she does 
not know what she can do for the negro, whether she 
is doing anything worth while, or whether more money 
is likely to produce better results ? Is it better to go on 
"blindly" in the old ways, or spend some money studying 
results, methods, character, and making a few careful 
experiments under proper experimental conditions ? Are 
the ecclesiastical and scholastic experiments being made 
now really supervised so that real results can be studied ? 
If so, where are the reports that go exhaustively into 
the subject instead of dealing in large generalities or 
picking out a few "typical" cases? 

Shall we do as one of our bishops advises — do as we 
are doing and leave "results" in the hand of Providence, 
or shall we take it that Providence expects us to be provi- 
dent and foresighted and scientific in the Lord's work? 
Shall our "faith" lack insight as well as sight? Have 
we no faith in God's truth as declared by science ? What 
results can we plead for the "Episcopalian" brand of 
evangelization and education when we ask for money 
for the negroes? 

D. Negro Education: The Thought and the 



(Paper read before Southern Educational Association, Dec 2g, 
1910^ Giattanooga, Tcnn.) 

Education frees the soul of man . Free dom makes for 
equalit y based o n per sona l worth . Wort h cannot main- 
lalnltself unless i ts right to the pursuit of happiness is 
"unimpede d. The ess ence of happiness is social commun- 
ion. Communion in the social sphere is primarily based 
on family life. The family rests on m arriage . Hence 
intwinarriage of free, equal, wort hy social individuals 
is the natural' of "generic end of education' ^he Italian 
peasant's grandson, educated m free America, and show- 
ing himself intellectually, ethically, economically and 
aesthetically fit, marries the daughter of an old American 
family. There is none to say nay. But a man of appar- 
ently equal character in every respect, except that he has 
one-sixteenth negro blood in his veins, is debarred from 
wedding his apparent equal if she belongs to the white 
race. So l man .yi^ith n^grn hlnnd 1^ h\^ TT»^^ 
up knows that there is a great gulf fixe d between him 
"and individuals of another race that seem to be of equal 
or inferior character, he is not a fcafiJEian. JB^Js-iu 
ferior in spite of his seeming superiorit y or equality, and 
such a status is the veriest slavery p| the sou l. He is 
deprived of his supposedly inalienable ri ght to the pur- 
siiiF oFfiappmess. In firfci, all bur higher life and all our 
happmess^are conditionedt)y ftihdaitfental b iological tacts? 
Freedom to marry one's personal equal is fundamental 


Education aiiD facial ^qualitp 261 

equality. Deprivation of this freedom is rel^;ation to 
the ranks of inferiority. The educated negro may say, 
"I prefer the woman of my own race." Yes, but con- 
sider the Italian; he, too, naturally prefers to marry an 
Italian. But make the Italian conscious of impending 
marital inferiority for his descendants to the fourth and 
fifth generation, let him realize that his inf eriority is, 
no t somethi ng that can be done awav wit^i throngrf] Hm^ 
iind education, and you are forthwith telling h jpi \\ i^t [ig 
is being unfairly jealt with» for everyone knows that the 
ItaliaiTface'is'ohe of the great races of the earth. 

How is it with the negro ? He cannot claim l in eage 
thaL i&-higi r He cannot point to the great things that 
his people are now accomplishing as an independent na- 
tion; one cannot tell him that science regards his race 
as even potentiall y >T ^<^ ^H"^ (?I ^b^ wHiti* r^f <^ But one 
does in effect"say tmto him, "Brother in Black, you are 
brother only by conventional religious terminology; the 
prejudice against you cannot be overcome because it has 
a real biologig ]l_ oasis, 

Ari3*so^ we come to the nerve of the negro problem. 
W e pr omise the ne gro freedom through education, on 
the one hand, and we take away from" him the very 

basis for equality jind self-respe ct, on, the other . 

No real man pines because of not having social com- 
munion with people that do not welcome him, for he ordi- 
narily knows that the refusal to admit him into a given 
social circle is but a superficial matter. Let him acquire 
wealth, or polish, or fame, or something else that so-called 
exclusive circles value, and he that was once rejected will 
be welcome. 

Many a humble man knows that his educated children 
wiirn se~to social heights n6t V6il^hs ated tohm i^ and, 
TJeTTlEerefore content witJT fijs lot, fo FTieTivSlLgain 

262 Kace S>ttboitotjf in tbt %omh 

in his children . But the negro's children have no {ii= 
lure, except that bp und np in thr iFTiwn ttjca Put him 
where he will not be js^^^ t hat^ brand s 

hrni every moment as a social inferior, anJTe^ can t or- 

of the white man. 

get the apparent^arrogance of the white man, I jut 
definite status of inierionty, felt m dailycontact, is one 
that can be tolerated in patience and equanimi ty by no 
free man. wegrCfSs may say that they do not want con- 
ventional social recognition ; T)urif'they"inean~w^ they 
say they are prpying their inferiority, and i?" they ^o 
not mean what they say, there Is no reason why we 
should listen to their asseverations. 

What I have been saying is, of course, predicated on 
^ assumption that all form s of equality are associated 
in the freeniTe oTafTzeSihT^ 4nd thai in the long run 
411 depend upon sociaf equ ality and intermarriage. In 
order to take a test case, let us ask ourselves whether 
political equality, which is being taken from the negro 
with a pretense of legal fairness, is organically associ- 
ated with the general tendencies toward association and 
fellowship ? 

No one has studied democracy more fundamentally 
than did Alexis de Tocqueville, whose great work on 
American democracy is still a classic. Let us hear him 
speak from several angles, in order to catch his full 
thought : 

"At the present time civic zeal seems to me to be 
inseparable from the exercise of political rights. . . . 
It is impossible that the lower orders should take a part 
in public business without extending the circle of their 
ideas, and without quitting the ordinary routine of their 
mental acquirements. ... A government retains its 
sway over a great number of citizens far less by the 
voluntary and rational consent of the multitude than by 

^Duration anD Kadal tf quality 263 

that instinctive and to a certain extent involuntary agree* 
ment which results from similarities of feelings and re- 
semblances of opinion. I will never admit that men 
constitute a social body simply because they obey the 
same head and the same laws. Society can only exist 
when a great number of men consider a great number 
of things in the same point of view; when they hold 
the same opinions upon many subjects, and when the 
same occurrences suggest the same thoughts and impres- 
sions to their minds. . . . Let us suppose that all the 
members of the community take a part in the govern- 
ment, and that each one of them has an equal right to 
take a part in it As none is different from his fellows 
none can exercise a tyrannical power : men will be per - 
fec tly free becau se they will be entirely equal; and they 
will all be periecHiTequal because they wiil be entirely 
free. To this ideal state democrati c nat ions tend. . . . 
The pa ssion for equ ality penetrates on every side in to 
men's hearts, expands there, an3 fills them entirely. . . 7 
The^great advantage of t he Americans is that they have 
arrived at a state of democracy without having to en- 
dure a democratic revolution; and that they are bom 
equal instead of becoming so. . . . If the object be to 
have the local affairs of a' dTstrict conducted by the men 
who reside there, the same persons are always in con- 
tact, and they are, in a manner, forced to be acquainted, 
and to adapt themselves to one another. . . . JXjJiro 
are to remain civilized, or to become so, the art of asso- 
ciating tQgelfip:;^iausf:'jgoW^^^ 

ratio in whic h the equality of conditions is increasj 
. . . When a people, then, have any knowledge of pub- 
lic life, the notion of association, and the wish to coal- 
esce, present themselves every day to the minds of the 
whole community: whatever natural repugnance may 

264 fSiact S)ttt)oDO£p in tbe %outb 

restrain men from acting in concert, they will always be 
ready to combine for the sake of a party. Thus politi- 
cal life makes the love and practice of association more 
general; it imparts a desire of union, and teaches the 
means of combination to numbers of men who would 
have always lived apart. ... If at all times educa- 
tion enables men to defend their independence, this is 
most especially true in democratic countries." 

These and many like words of the great student of 
spontaneous democracy brand our attempts to force de- 
mocracy with the arm of the law as peculiarly futile. De 
Tocqueville evidently thought that democracy produced 
"entire equality" and all that goes with it. And South- 
ern instinct needs only to be translated into philosophic 
language to say just what De Tocqueville meant and 

Now, the time for argument about theoretic racial 
equality has passed, not only at the South, where it 
hardly ever existed even in the minds of the few, but 
also in odier parts of the country, which are rapidly 
coming to take the Southern view of the whole matter. / 
Under these circtunstances it is not surprising that many, 
if not most. Southerners feel doubtful about the advis- 
ability of educating the negro for an unknozvn future. 
When they say that what the negro needs is industrial 
education they somehow feel that such education will fit 
tfie negro for his "place," which, in their view, is some- 
thing akin to a status of peasantry. The South has little 
heart in educating the negro. The North is suffering 
from moral lassitude as to the whole subject Some say, 
both at the South and at the North, "Let the question 
alone; it will solve itself." Perhaps so, but will it solve 
itself so as to make the most of the South and at the 
same time do the negro justice? And is it solving itself, 

CDucation anD Racial Cqualit|» 265 

either at the North or at the South ?/Two headlines 
from a recent issue of a well-known ^metropolitan paper 
will reply. The first reads thus : "To Segregate Negro 
Homes." But perhaps it is Southern "prejudice" that 
makes Baltimore strive to segregate the negro, no mat- 
ter what his education. Here is an extract from the re- 
port to the Baltimore Council that would be amusing 
were it not tragic : "No fault is found with the negroes' 
ambitions, but the committee feels that Baltimoreans will 
be criminally negligent as to their future happiness if 
they suffer the negroes' ambitions to go unchecked." A 
modem instance is this of the little nursery dialogue : 

"'Mother, may I go out to swim?' 
'Yes, my darling daughter; 
Hang your clothes on a hickory limb, 
But don't go near the water I'" 

If the Supreme Court of the United States should de- 
cide against the Baltimore ordinance, the whites have 
plans in plenty whereby their purpose may be effected. 
Here is one from New York City, which I introduce as 
the second of the two newspaper headings above re- 
ferred to : 

"$20,000 To Keep Negroes Out. Harlemites Sub- 
scribe that Amount to Save West 136th Street." 

Man's inhumanity to man, we say, until the ''am- 
bitious" negroes move into our street! 

We may stun up the discussion thus far somewhat as 
follows : 

.^Educati on is a function of democracy and hence spells 
equality of status. To oflEer education ^rfSTlfffTl^^"^ 
equality of individual with individual. Quality of op- 
portunity is opportunity fbr^&ii3(attly of liU kinds. II 

266 Eace fl)ttt)oDosp in tbt %omb 

we deny the possibility of equality, to offer the oppor- 
tunity Uiat leads naturally to equality is to insult human 
intelligence and perpetrate a cosmic joke. For what 
else means opportunity without satisfaction except re- 
bellion, or retrogression, or despair? Shall we open the 
door of hope to the negro only to usher him into the 
outer darkness of disillusion, or else to invite him in 
to partake of the feast of citizenship, and then crush 
him against the very doorpost of social opportunity? 
If we owe the negro an education — and we do — ^how 
sHan we give him reaCHnlbrced, natural opportunity I 

When closely questioned Southern people "aSffllf al l 
^e ideal princ iples of the rigEts of man^ ecjuality of 
opportunity and the like TTtimanitaHanism and d ^QT- 
racy are not strange notions^^ontRem. But thev agree 
with the maxim, "might till right is ready," and they 
are not convinced that negroes shou l d exercise all thei r 
rights ncfw,^^ Nor do tHey . tElflK. It^s^lfc- evident that the 
negro should have equality of oppo rtunity hir e. The 
Reverend Edgar Gardner Murphy, who has thought 
deeply on this subject in his "Basis of Ascendancy," tells 
the South to be content with an economic status less high 
than that of other parts of the country. But I do not 
believe that anyone should ask the South to be damned 
even relatively, for its black brethren's sake, unless no 
feasible way can be found out of the difficulty. 

A man high in dignity and reputation told me only 
yesterday, when I confronted him with the facts of hu- 
man nature as they are: "I agree with the saying, 'Damn 
your facts !* " But, however much we might like to 
damn the facts, it is they that are in the habit of doing 
the damning and the blessing. A fact is a sacred thing 
from the hands of God, and must find its place in our 
practical philosophy of life, even though our "principles" 

CDucation anD Racial Cqualit|» 267 

may refuse to shake hands with it. Until we become 
disembodied spirits we must try to square biological and 
psychological phenomena with the higher facts of our 
spiritual nature as best we can. So long as the world is 
wide and the negro question is not studied, we have no 
right to compel a choice between the utilitarian and the 
ideal motives of our consciences. For self-sacrifice is 
noble only when ethically necessary. And, until a hurt- 
ful necessity is actually known to be such, we are simply 
quixotic, if not foolish, in bowing to the alleged obliga- 
tion t o give the ne^o full equality of opportunity, w hi 
naturally leads to opportunity for all equality, including 
scK:iaI equairty,^FlBe'^pensFof tlie South's develop- 
~TRe esteemed gentleman just referred to told me, 
almost in one breath, ( i ) that the South is obscurantist, 
medieval, and (2) that the South ought to leave the 
issue of the race problem to Providence. In other words, 
he seems to think it reactionary for one to doubt the 
practicality of applying the abstract doctrines of the 
rights of man in certain definite temporal and spatial 
ways, but not reactionary to turn over to Providence a 
problem that we have not yet scientifically investigated. 
The South may well be pardoned for believing that 
everything must be "left to Providence," because not a 
sparrow falleth without divine responsibility; and that 
nothing must be left to Providence, without effort on our 
part, because we are told to work out our own salva- 
tion in fear and trembling. 

But why this suspicion of biological and psychological 
science ? j Vhy this pitting of science against religioiy ? 
Is there any reason tor believing that because Israel was 
a "Chosen People" there was no "natural selection" in 
her case? Have we failed to realize the implications of 

268 Race fl)tttoDosp in tbt %outb 

the soul's not being able to express and realize itself in 
time and space except through the body, and especially 
the nervous system? Have we forgotten that even cer- 
tain noble phases of the master passion, love, have been 
reached by the spiritualization of a natural appetite? 

I was not surprised to find that a certain distinguished 
New Yorker "didn't know** but that amalgamation might 
solve the negro problem if the races remained in contact 
long enough. Nor was I surprised to hear him say that 
the next great epic poet would have negro blood in his 
veins. After all, those who want us to "wait" on the 
problem and are not disposed to urge the scientific study 
of it may well be suspected either of being deeply logi- 
cal in their subconsciousness, and therefore dimly ex- 
pecting and perhaps hoping that the "natural" or biologi- 
cal solution through amalgamation may come about in 
time ; or else of looking forward to a permanent status of 
spiritual, if not economic, serfdom for the negro. The 
amalgamationists realize that ra ce prejud ice is not pf i ^ ar-- 
ilyjjastinctive, and that the breaking down of the fashion 
that proscribes the negro will leave nature free to solve 
the problem in the only way she uses to solve such prob- 
lems without war, actual or potential ; the subordination- 
ists know that iiJtjejr^can keep tfie stigma of inferior it 
fastened on the negro the negro, canno t rise higher to 
ultimate intermarriage. 

I have tried to suggest the nature and difficulties of 
our problem as fairly and dispassionately as can be 
done by one who is a humanitarian and an American 
and at the same time a Southerner of the Southerners. 
Wfe.must not jpye up our broad A meri ca n principles . 
But we must bring &em Jntg CQPta gt witlT th e facte o' 
the situation asjKClLa&jKfi^fian^ 

We must face the facts, whatever our philosophy, and 

CEDucation anD Racial Cqualit|» 269 

thtis work out the high designs of Providence. We must 
study the negro pro blem, would we educate th e nqp ro 
intelligently. We must find out as nearly as we can 
what "place" we are fitting him for. Even the broken 
lights of science are better than a blind faith. For real 
faith has insight. "We know in whom we have be- 
lieved." And much of our social knowledge, and some 
of the most usable parts of it, comes from the vigorous 
scientific method of to-day. 

Granting, then, that we as educators should do our 
best to urge the study of the negro question and help 
on that study when it shall have been started in a well- 
organized way, what shall we say about our attitude 
toward the education of the negro? 

1. We must educate him because he is a man, and 
a man must be educated in some sense, no matter what 
future lies before him. 

2. We must educate him because ignorant men are 
dangerous, especially to a democracy pledged to educate 
all men. 

3. We must educate him for the protection of our 
own health and our own moral character, for ignorance 
spreads disease and vice. 

4. We must educate him so that he may help to 
solve his own problem, for we have no right to impose 
our "solutions" on the negro without giving him a chance 
to understand. 

5. We must educate him would we have him stand 
alone; and whatever his fate he must ultimately stand 
through his own strength. 

6. We must educate him because the public opinion 
of the civilized world demands his education, and if we 
pay deference to a world view we cannot consistently 
deny to it some degree of reason and righteousness. 



-"T — -^-— ■ ' ^-~^'- ■ ■• ^.^.. 

270 Eace fl)rtt)oDosp in tfie %outt) 

7. We must educate him because he wants to be edu- 
cated, and we can give him no satisfactory reason for 
refusing him this boon. 

8. We must educate him because he earns his edu- 
cation through his labor and his efforts to educate hun- 

9. We must educate him for the sake of the admit- 
tedly worthy remnant, and in order that the worthy few 
may have followers who can be intelligently led and will 
intelligently follow. 

Doubtless there are other good reasons why the negro 
should be educated: those given will serve our present 

But, while we are educating the negro and assisting 
him to educate himself, let us tell him and his friends 
at the North and at the South a few wholesome things. 

1. A scientific study, especially of negro character 
and its possibilities, should be made in order that the 
education of the negro should have an objective point, 
and in order that uneasy dread of the future on the part 
of Southern whites may be allayed as far as possible. 

2. Assimilation through intermarriage is not to be 
considered as a feasible or as a righteous solution of the 

3. Northern and Southern opinion are approximat- 
ing each other. Both tend to lose interest in the negro. 
The gulf between the races is widening at the North as 
well as at the South. 

4. Unless, or until we know to the contrary, the 
negro is to be regarded simply as a relatively inferior 
race, inasmuch as science has not pronotmced him hope- 
lessly inferior for all time. 

5. The ultimate ^'peasantry" solution is not to be 
countenanced, inasmuch as it is un-American and in- 

CEDucation anD Racial <Equalit|» 271 

human, and would injure the white people morally and 

6. Equality of opportunity should come to the negro 
somehow, some time, somewhere, provided the white 
people's supremacy in their own land is not endangered. 
Let science and the natural course of events determine 
where, when and how. 

7. In the meantime, while the negro should abate 
none of his claims to complete manhood, let him, like 
Brer Rabbit, "keep on sayin' nothin'." Patience now 
means opportunity in the future. Agitation now may 
precipitate disaster. There are enough friends of hu- 
mankind in the country to keep a care of the negro's 
future if he will prove himself worthy. 

8. The negro must develop his own civilization and 
social self -consciousness. 

9. Whatever the final solution may be it must not 
cause permanent retardation of the South's complete 
development. This means that the inferior race must 
never be favored at the expense of the superior race. 

10. Conditions will improve when "preternatural 
suspicion" is allayed by the adoption of a definite policy 
by the country, whereby generous justice is done the 
negro without upsetting the rational race orthodoxy of 
the South. 

11. We need to be more pessimistic as to present 
conditions and more optimistic as to the ultimate future, 
provided we agree to have a carefully organized, national, 
non-partisan, cooperative study of the race question. 

12. The scientific study may modify some of the 
above conclusions. Unless we have open minds our 
study will simply show us what we want to see. 

13. As long as the races live together on the same 
soil, the negro, individually and collectively, will be 

272 Bace fl)itt)oDosp in tbt %outl) 

treated as inferior, and therefore cannot hope for spirit- 
ual freedom. 

14. It would be the part of wisdom to facilitate segre- 
gation of the races in as many ways as possible, pending 
the results of a scientific study of the negro problem. 


(July 1912. Report on two Negro Summer Schools, Tate 
County, Miss.) 

We started, the County Superintendent and I, at half- 
past eight in the morning on a hot day in August. The 
school was four miles distant from the county seat. On 
the way we met negro children of various sizes and com- 
plexions wending their leisurely way to school. When 
we were returning, at about ten-thirty a. m., some of 
the pupils were still unconcernedly straggling to school. 
At the schoolhouse I saw several groups come in. None 
showed the slightest embarrassment. All said, Good 
morning. Their coming in and their greeting produced 
no effect whatever on either teacher or pupils. The 
county superintendent did not seem to think it in the 
realm of possibility to bring about any improvement in 
punctuality. The parents are "free American citizens." 
If hurried or harried on the subject of punctuality, they 
usually, it is said, prefer having their children quit school 
to having themselves or their children hurried. 

We passed several houses with litters of pickaninnies 
on their porches. One cabin porch held six children, all 
apparently under seven years of age. Along the road 
came several tots of kindergarten age, ''going to school." 
At the schoolhouse I saw a fully developed woman who 
was one of the pupils. I hope she was in the highest 
grade — say the "negro" equivalent of the advanced fourth 
grade of a fair country school. When she dropped her 


-^— •■^■^- - -^— 

274 Slace fSMboltouf in tlie ^outli 

book on the floor and scattered its pages over a consider- 
able area she picked up the leaves without the slightest 
sign of haste or disquiet. 

The schoolhouse is in a pleasant grove, close by a negro 
church. The County Superintendent told me of its pious 
name, and then gave the following partial list of some 
of his negro schools : St. Paul, St. Peter, Paradise, Zion 
Hill. The church and the schoolhouse were apparently 
substantial buildings. Mt hn^^g)} ^ h^ ^ ipHnw<^ nf |[i<> 
schoolhouse w ere not higher th? *i a tf\V *^^"'° ^^'", tbty 
extended tjp^efig<)j, and, with the aid of front and l^i^ 
doors, gave fairly good ventilation. The re were no 
desks. The children sat pn_ wooden ^bai^ some of 
which were grouped in the rear of the room and some 
placed along the windows. The children "lined up" to 
recite. Each one had a "niunber" given him or her. 
The reason for this could not be discovered, for no ref- 
erence was made to the numbers after they had been 
assigned, except that the teacher became rather severe in 
his language if a pupil could not give his number when 
called on for it. Perhaps he was trying to teach atten- 
tion and obedience to command. 

I have already intimated that the range of ages in the 
three or four approximate grades of the school was be- 
tween four and eighteen. The teacher said that sixty 
were in attendance ; I suppose he meant that there were 
sixty "a-comin* and a-gwyne'M 

jome ol_the childrea. were^atro ciously filthv a nd 
ragged; others were fairly neat and clean. Most of 
"^Bian^ere African in color and feature. However, prac- 
tically none of them looked like the pictures of the lower 
African type that one sees in popular books on ethnology. 
Not a few had fairly pleasing, regular features, though 
of the higher African type. No difference in mental 

9 J0e0to Butal Miool 275 

brightness could be detected between the pure n^^oes 
^d the mixed tjrpes. The most intelligent tace 1 saw 
was that of an apparently full-blooded little negro girl. 
There was not a harsh voice in the room ; the tones were 
full, soft and musical. The child ren seemed to pay little 
^attention to the presence oi white strangers.^ SSnelimes 
a child would "study but loud/' but seemingly without 
disturbing the work of others. The children moved 
around freely, but noiselessly, without asking permis- 
sion. In fact, they were unconventionally easy in their 
manners. Apparently not a ripple of interest was ex- 
cited when a boy came in with a bundle of able-bodied 
switches which he handed to the teacher, who selected 
one and used it as a pointer. I could detect no mischiev- 
ous talking and laughing. Perhaps there had been a let- 
ting-off of steam before we entered. And perhaps our 
presence and the timely appearance of the switches pro- 
duced the effect of salutary peace. 

One of the most noticeable phenomena I observed, one 
which is constantly to be noted, was the unhurried flow 
of the children's movements, without sign of articulate 
sharpness or angularity or self-conscious awkwardness. 
The thought came to me. How impossible is it to decide 
how much of the negro's assumed lack of resentment is 
due to his easy, smooth "Brer Rabbit" manners! How 
easy it is for us to misunderstand an alien people! There 
is such a quality as tactful and astute childlikeness. 

The teacher was very methodical as to ritual, and 
absolutely without intellectual method. He lined up the 
children ; he numbered them ; he was punctilious in plac- 
ing the reciter in front of the class and in requiring the 
rhythmic following of the leader as he sang: "Twenty, 
twenty-one, twenty-two, etc.; thirty, thirty-one, etc.; 
forty, forty-one, etc." No attempt was made to count by 

.J..- . ^ : 

276 Eace SHtboltosg in ttit %omh 

tens; most of the time was wasted in going over the 
digits, with which all were familiar. About half the class 
would make absurd mistakes with the sequence of tens. 
One put ninety after twenty. Another went back to 
forty after having safely reached sixty. The class re- 
peated the errors in chorus, after which the teacher al- 
lowed corrections. By means of some intuition which I 
do not understand, the teacher would announce from 
time to time to the reciter : "That's as far as you can go ; 
that will do." I did not see any blackboard work. 
There was a very small piece of blackboard of some 
description in one comer of the room. Here, as in other 
respects educational, the negro gets his minimum— ''good 
enough for niggers." If the white men of the coimty 
were asked whether the schools of the negroes had 
enough blackboard space, they would be likely to reply 
— as some have replied : "Enough for the kind of pupils 
and teachers that use them." 

The reading of a "third reader" class was instructive 
— to me. The seven children had one and a part books. 
To all appearances, there was not a third enough books 
in use in the school. The teacher said that "the books 
had not come." I don't believe that the books had any 
intention of coming. My friend the superintendent told 
teacher and pupils very plainly that nothing could be 
done without at least the reading books. He suggested 
that a half day of work by one of the children would buy 
a book. But why should one work when one doesn't 
have to? 

The teacher spent most of the reading period in having 
the children spell out the new words from the reader as 
the book was passed from hand to hand. If the teacher 
himself had a reader, he did not use it, but stood behind 
each pupil as the child tried to read. However, the chil- 

9 Jf^egro Bural %ttool 277 

dren could read a little. I wonder why ! And the super- 
intendent says that this teacher who, with great difficulty, 
after several trials, succeeds in getting the lowest (third- 
grade) certificate, teaches about as well as the holders 
of first-grade certificates. I was told that the teacher 
was a reputable, excellent fellow, — ^and he looked the 
part. I want to find out from him how he can dress so 
well on less than one hundred and twenty dollars a year. 
His shining laundered collar and cuflfs, glistening alpaca 
coat, striped trousers, well-blacked shoes, would have 
passed muster anywhere. Although he came out to 
meet us as we arrived, and accompanied us to the 
buggy as we were leaving, the superintendent did not 
present him to me; nor was any word of farewell ut- 

In some Southern cities the negro principals are called 
"Mr." and are duly introduced to strangers; but my 
friend, the county superintendent, was natural and logi- 
cal in making no pretense of departing from the social 
facts of the case ; who should blame him? And who can 
blame him for spending on the negro schools propor- 
tionally only from one-tenth to one-twentieth of his time ? 
His chances for reelection would be faint indeed if he 
"wasted his time on niggers." He is a compassionate. 
Christian man ; but facts are facts, "niggers are niggers," 
and the belief of the ave rage Southerner in the literar y 
education o f IKe^egro is less than half-hearted . }Anst 
Southerners are perfectly willing to be "shown" that the 
negro should be educated; but. attempts ioproyjg.thXs^bx 
pointinc: out the absence of a select class of negroes from 
IBie penftentiaiy 4oes.not.CQnymSfi,.thsnLp The alleged 
existence of a higher percentage of bare literacy in the 
penitentiary of South Carolina, for instance, than exists 



278 mate fl)tttoDofp in tbt %out|i 

outside in that state, more than offsets what one might 
urge in favor of a crude smattering of literary education 
for the negroes. 

I think that this^ rural negro s chool is fairly typical: 
in some respects (buiidfingr'Tor instance) it |§,..sui 
to most of the negro country sdujols Jtihat- 1 hayg 
Now, if you ask me frankly whether the kind of educa- 
tion I see in a school like ^this is really ^orAjjiurJlupg, I 
find it hard I0 reply, although I believe in the education 
of every human being to the limit of his capacity. Surely 
it would be worth while to prove to the Southerner that 
the educationjof the n^yrrn mj^gs^ i.q worth while, and 
that iljvoukLpay the South and the country at large to 
^pend vastly more than we do in tramihg* negro rural " 
teachers and in equipping negro rtnirfr^^hes^^ 
confess that the proof is neither self-evident nor 

Why should a believer in universal education feel him- 
self become so unsettled after seeing a few inefficient » 
grotesquely inefficient negro schools? Well, for several 
reasons : ( i ) Because the white people want to "keep the 
negro in his place/' and educated people have a way of 
making their own places and their own terms; (2) be- 
cause a Southern man, even if the best type, shows in- 
terest in negro education only with bated breath; (3) 
anything that makes the negro a better competitor of the 
white man tends to increase race feeling; (4) education 
is a mockery in the case of people who are fundamentally 
unfree, who are held in the position of a permanently 
inferior social caste, who are deprived of the normal 
accompaniments of citizenship; (5) because, if liberated 
minds do not claim their due, they are contemptible and 
are not worthy of education, and, if they do claim their 
rights and thereby cause interracial strife, they are dan- 

a il^eg^io Eural %ttool 279 

gerous to the community. So thinks the average white 

Now, I do not give these reasons as my own convic- 
tions, but as thoughts that arise in my mind when I study 
a negro school and then note the attitude of its white 
neighbors toward it. Not for one moment do I give 
up the belief in universal and adequat e education tor all 
me n ;T)uI"agai irand'"a^ln is the "Conviction forced on me 
that education is not a thing apart, but Ts econoWteartlXP 
l eli g iously^Jui idita tty, p oltt ically/ttnd;'iab6ve ^I^ jgocioM^^ 
conditioned. Separate education From tfie normal Amer- 
ican" prmciples that should accompany it, and I for 
one dare not predict what its result will be. Here, 
as usual, we come back to our primary contention, if 
we are disinterested students of the negro question: 
until a "solution" is in sight, the Southern whites will 
not apply the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity 
to the negro ; such a solution must not be such as to inter- 
fere with the fundamental Southern view of the negro's 
social position ; a solution that will not attempt to reverse 
Southern sentiment, but which at the same time will be 
true to the principles of Christian democracy, cannot be 
arrived at with the data we have in hand, or without a 
careful, long-continued, scientific study. Nor must it 
be forgotten that in a study that is radically psychological 
ability to interpret human instinct, habit, custom, usage, 
feeling, attitude, prejudice — in a word, ability to inter- 
pret subjective, qualitative data, is indispensably neces- 
sary, and cannot have its place taken by laboratory ex- 
periments, anthropological measurements, econo mic st a- 
tistics and historical deductions, important as these are. 

28o laace SMbonots in tbt %out|) 

ability.^r&.3bsolutely essential if the solution of the negro 
problem is even to be sought inteffigpntryT* ^ " ***"*" 

* In this paper and the following actual conditions are portrayed, 
but these two papers are not intended to suggest that there are no 
good negro schools. Indeed the author has recently visited negro 
schools of a fair order of efficiency — mostly in the cities and the 
larger towns of the South. 


teacher's school and a negro INSTITUTE 

The school was called Shady Grove, apparently on 
the well-known principle of "contrary suggestion," for 
there was neither grove nor shade near the school. But 
there was a church near by, and there was shade — intel- 
lectual and ethical shadow — inside the schoolroom. 
There were two teachers working in the same room, and 
apparently in no wise disturbing each other. The prin- 
cipal was loud and the assistant very quiet. This con- 
venient division of labor brought about a popular aver- 
age. In most respects the school was similar to Zion 
Hill, the subject of a preceding sketch. No desks, in- 
conspicuous blackboards, etc. Ninety-six on the roll; 
seventy-one in attendance. We visited the school in the 
afternoon, hence the phenomena of unpunctuality were 
not in evidence. 

The superintendent tells me that over half the negro 
schools of his county are in churches. Sometimes the 
county offers to help build a school, but the negroes in- 
variably decline to deed the building and site to the 
county, although their local board has complete use of 
the property. In all cases the local trustees are negroes. 
The only desks in the n^[ro schools of the county are 
in the larger towns, except that there are a few rough 
home-made desks in a few rural schools. 

The teacher is of the Bantu type. His face and form 


282 laace 2Dtt()oDosp in tbe %out1) 

are dignified. He talked for our benefit, and spoke of 
us as distinguished educators. He is the holder of a 
first-grade certificate and is a teacher of twenty years' 
standing. His education showed itself in his greater 
facility of speech, which was sometimes of involved 
rhetorical nature. Among other things, he called our 
attention to the *'Tyro Class." I thought he meant a 
class from Tyro, one of the villages of the county. When 
I expressed surprise that a T)rro class should be there, 
he relieved my trouble by telling me that he meant the 
primer class. The incident was typical. 

The children were black or dark brown in color, for 
the most part; but there were two children that might 
have passed for white. A year or two previous, when 
a negro woman was in charge of the school, the superin- 
tendent, seeing several apparently white children in the 
room, said to the teacher : "You have some of the wrong 
children here, haven't you?*' She replied, with the tact 
characteristic of her race : "Their mother associates with 
the colored folks." This case of concubinage is excep- 
tional — the only one in the county, I am informed. Even 
in this instance the association is not open. If it were, 
there would be trouble, no doubt. The two "white" 
children were the most restless in the room ; but seemed 
on perfectly natural and intimate terms with the blacks. 

Looking very closely for signs of self -consciousness, I 
thought, as often before, that the lack of "white" signs, 
such as blushing and angular awkwardness, accotmts 
largely for the apparently easy manners of the negroes. 
One black girl in this school suffered a sort of undulat- 
ing squirming wriggle that "ran all over" her when she 
was embarrassed at missing a question. When the county 
superintendent stood up to count the children there was 
almost painful silence in the room, though a moment be- 

%i)aDp ^totie 283 

fore the children seemed to be paying no attention to the 
white visitors. 

The recitation in physiology consisted of reading the 
text (one book to every four pupils) and then proving 
incontestably that nothing had been learned. The only 
child that seemed to know anything was a lank chap, 
very black, of the Guinea type, and the perfect picture of 
good humor and amiability. He was probably the best 
specimen of a "white man's nigger" in the room: good- 
natured, docile, respectful and willing. The highest class 
studied the fourth reader. 

On the way back I questioned the county superin- 
tendent with regard to a comparison between the country 
and the town schools among the negroes. Though the 
town schools are better equipped and have better teachers, 
often excellent teachers, according to the superintendent, 
the net result for character is about the same. "There is 
no moral uplift and no relation between the school and 
life," said the superintendent. And most of the county 
superintendents seem to agree with my friend's state- 

When the negro teachers talk of practical and moral 
matters to the children in the presence of the whites their 
speech has a hollow, unreal sound. Perhaps some of them 
speak more earnestly when the whites are not around. 
But I am afraid that the neat and dignified dress of the 
teachers — 'for in my experience the two schools we 
visited in this county are typical so far as the dress of 
the teacher is concerned — is not the outward and visible 
sign of priestly helpfulness, for it would seem that the 
teacher very seldom got close to the hearts of the chil- 
dren. This school, though better off as to teachers than 
the Zion Hill school, was perhaps even more depressing, 
not only on account of the presence of the little octoroons. 

284 iftace iDttiioDocp in tbt %out() 

but also because of the 'depressed dignity" of the teacher, 
who evidently felt that he had something of the gentle- 
man in him that we whites did not appreciate. 

In discussing negro traits the superintendent illus- 
trated the "ingratitude" of the negro by telling me of a 
negro girl who had been in his household for twelve 
years (from five years old to seventeen) as a nurse girl. 
When her people wanted her to go home she wept copi- 
ously and took a long time to decide that she could 
break away. But after she left she seemed to have no 
further interest in the family, although at the parting 
she had been given additional food and raiment and 
money in her purse. 

But was this a case of ingratitude ? The county super- 
intendent, being a careful man and knowing that nobody 
understands the negro, would not venture to make a 
dogmatic statement. 

At a negro teachers' institute next day I asked the 
negroes to tell me what they thought about the common 
accusation of the whites that the "average" negro lacked 
sympathy toward his kind, gratitude, resentfulness and 
intellectual curiosity. Most of them would not express 
an opinion; nor did I blame them. Those who talked 
were afraid that the "lower types of colored folks" did 
have the traits attributed to them. The white conductor 
of the institute, although he treated these negro teachers 
as if they had been sixth grade children, sturdily de- 
fended the negroes from the accusation of ingratitude 
and lack of sympathy. Nevertheless, though he spoke 
of the sympathy and gratitude of negroes toward him, 
his contention simply bore out the statement of Rev. 
Dr. Hedleston of the University of Mississippi, namely, 
that negroes are often kind and sympathetic toward 
whites in far greater degree than they are toward their 

%i)aDp ^toto 285 

own kind. Their respect for the whites, and their "op- 
timism" (as my friend, the conductor at this institute, 
put it), which makes them feel that "there's nothing really 
the matter with that (supposedly sick) nigger," may in 
part account for the phenomenon. I have authentic in- 
formation of a negro who faithfully nursed a negro 
woman that was sick in a house several miles away, but 
who neglected the same woman when she was sick in his 
house, so that she died. I asked my informant to ex- 
plain the anomaly. He, too, is a cautious man and 
would not commit himself, but suggested that the negro 
appreciated the "company" he found at the house several 
miles off, and didn't find the nursing interesting or heroic 
at his own home. Who knows? How pitiably little we 
know about the brother in black. And how necessary 
it is that we understand his traits of character if we arc 
going to educate him, and if we are to solve the negro 

A year of "microscopic" psychological work in Missis- 
sippi, if carried on by people who knew what the valuable 
facts were and could sympathetically and scientifically 
interpret them, would be worth all the books on the 
negro question put together, not because some of these 
books are not valuable, but because they tell us nothing 
internally real about negro character and the psychology 
of race prejudice. And these things are the "facts" we 
most need to know in solving any human problem that 
pertains to racial contact and racial efficiency. The mania 
for deductive statement and premature generalization has 
prevented first-hand minute study of the little things of 
character that science has need of. The "little knowl- 
edge" of the average intelligent white Southerner may 
ultimately prove even more deadly to the negro and to 
the white also than do even the sentimental vaporings of 

286 laace S>ttboitot9 in tbt %outb 

benevolent idealists without practical knowledge. First 
of all, men nefidand^wanLi^^iu:^^ jsuMLth^LfitsLjeqiusitr 
^jn doing. ^ man justice is to appreciiSLte lus common luir 
manity and his capacity for progress. This "justic(^V 
the negro seldom gets. * Perhaps there is little hope that 
he can as a race "stand alone" ; but dogmatic insistence 
that he can or cannot do this or that is neither kind nor 
scientific, though it may be popular and profitable in a 
political way for some of the "leaders of public opinion 
in our beloved Southland/' who are neither better nor 
worse than the other politicians of the world. 

Wishing, as I do, that there was not a negro on Amer- 
ican soil — though there are many negroes whose charac- 
ters I esteem — nevertheless no "prejudice" can make me 
or my kind blind to the evident fact that the negro has a 
right to be understood sympathetically and scientifically 
before we attempt to declare what education is good for 
him, or what his fate shall ultimately be. It is, however, 
even more important that we understand and appreciate 
the Southern white man's point of view. 

When we came out of the institute above referred to 
my white companion said : "Only one of those negroes 
was impudent." He referred to the teacher of Bantu 
type, who evidently resented being treated as a child by 
saying very deliberately that his reason for not knowing 
a problem was that he — ^had — ^probably — not — given — 
sufficient — study. I hope that my friend the conductor 
forgave him for his attempt to express his valuation of 
his own manhood! 



(Report of the conductor of Negro Institute, Yalobusha County, 
Miss., held at Coffeeville, Sept, 1912.) 

Custom has decreed that, although white people may 
not teach" negroes in The South* without loss or social 
presirge,' one may conduct a negro institute, presumably 
because there are so few negroes that can do such work, 
and, perhaps, also because one need have no sort of social 
contact with the negroes. Apparently the average white 
conductor of a negro institute seems to think it ad- 
visable to "take the negro as he finds him"; pay little 
attention to punctuality and regularity of attendance; 
gfive the negroes copious opportunities to spell and to 
"work examples" or have them worked by the conductor; 
and talk to the teachers occasionally in a way that will 
help the negroes to "keep their places" and teach their 
pupils to obey this one commandment without which let 
all negroes be accursed! Intending to do nothing that 
will alienate from me the entire confidence of my own 
race as represented by the white people of the South, 
nevertheless I am fully persuaded that these same white 
folk have to the full the humanitarian principles and feel- 
ings possessed by any other people, and that they wish 
the negro well, provided he "keeps his place," and pro- 
vided he and his friends do nothing to endanger "white 
supremacy." Hence I determined to have this institute 

♦Except in Giarleston, S. C. (?) 


288 Race SMboumjf in ttie %outb 

make for the betterment of the negro, and at the 
same time have him realize even more than he does 
that his fate is in the hands of his white neighbors, so 
far as any people's future can be under the control of 
another people. 

The nation as a whole is tired of the negro and the 
negro question, and is greatly inclined to leave the whole 
matter in the hands of the white people of the South. 
So long as the dominant race knows that one who is 
working to help the negroes is not simply a "philan- 
thropic" upholder of abstract human "rights," but be- 
lieves that all rights — ^at least in their expression — must 
be subordinate to the public welfare, no hostility toward 
his work need be feared. Many abnormally suspicious 
Southern whites are in their heart of hearts inclined to 
think that ultimately the race problem will be settled by 
"amalgamation"; and this dread of the future tmsatis- 
factory solution makes them look askance on any sort 
of relation between whites and negroes that may even 
possibly give the negro the impression that the funda- 
mental tenet of the Southern racial faith may in some 
wise be relaxed ultimately. 

Although I am one of those who believe that inter- 
marriage between the races will never come, and that 
illicit admixture is on the decrease, I nevertheless deem 
it wise to guard with the utmost care all presumably 
possible approaches to any sort of assertion of negro 
"equality." Abstract hiunan rights are one thing; the 
assertion of them and attempt to have them ftmction 
here and now are quite other things. The white race is 
in control ; and hence its welfare must be first considered 
when questions of public concern arise. Whatever the 
theory of the matter may be, the negro must, under pres- 
ent conditions of racial contact, be willing to be treated 

9 Coutttp ]n0titute fot K^egto Ceac|)et0 289 

as a people under tutelage, and trust to the real man- 
hood of good men in the South. 

Were it not that citizenship in a democratic state is 
ultimately based on at least potential social equality, it 
would be possible to give the negro all rights of citizen- 
ship; but under the circumstances he must ask for a 
child's right of protection and guidance rather than for 
adult justice. That such a status bears rather heavily 
on divers individuals of the negro race is undoubtedly 
true. But the superior negroes must be content to "die 
that they may live." Such is the solidarity of race and 
such the inclusiveness and vigor of the vague instinct 
underlying "race prejudice" that each negro must sub- 
mit to be ranked as a representative of his race rather 
than as an independent man in full possession of indi- 
vidual human rights. 

The race platform written by the conductor of the 
institute and unanimously adopted by the teachers at- 
tempts to conserve both the ideal principles of human 
nature and the real facts of the racial situation at the 
South. Hence I am here stating my attitude, so as to 
show the temper in which I conducted the work. 

The organization of the institute was substantially the 
same as that adopted at a white institute held a few 
weeks before by myself. Three phases of work were 
attempted: (i) Methods and other professional help 
given through the lectures of the conductor; (2) round- 
tables, presided over by some of the more experienced 
teachers, in which round-table discussions the teachers 
had an opportunity to exchange views and gain help 
from one another, and in which the conductor took care 
that only useful lines of discussion had the right of way ; 
(3) informal talks occasionally by the conductor in 
which he attempted to show the moral and religious bear- 

290 Race fl>tti)0Q(tti» in ttie %outti 

ing of education in the development of character. Of 
course, the last-named feature, in the case of this n^^o 
institute, was adapted to the actual moral and religious 
needs of the negroes, and had special reference to their 
racial status. Each feature of the institute seemed to 
meet the needs of the teachers. When the conductor 
offered to devote some portion of the time to text-book 
work the leading teachers asked him to adhere to his 
original plan, saying that the teachers ought to '"get up 
their examinations themselves," and not expect the in- 
stitute to help them get their licenses. In order that the 
young teachers might have some help in getting ready 
for examination, some of the older teachers gave them 
practical help immediately before the morning session, 
during the midday intermission, and after the afternoon 
session. The negroes, both teachers and taught, did this 
voluntary work cheerfully and faithfully. 

I was told that it would be of no use to attempt to 
exact punctuality and regular attendance. Nevertheless, 
I had the roll called at each session, and was delighted 
to find that the negroes would practice punctuality and 
regularity when properly incited to do so. They saw 
that I wanted to help them and that I was genuinely in- 
terested in their welfare. If the teacher is perfxmctory, 
the pupils will be so likewise. But all races and people 
respond to human kindness if it be judicious, practical 
and firm. 

The attendance increased as the institute progressed, 
though it was supposed that the negroes would not re- 
main for the full wedc. All sorts and conditions were 
represented among the little band present. There were 
several teachers of long experience — one or two had 
taught for thirty years. Then there were several who 
had not taught a day. There were ex-slaves and there 

9 Coutttp iMtitrnt tot JiSegto Ceadiets 291 

were representatives of negro colleges. At least one of 
the teachers had been prominent in politics during Recon- 
struction times. But the unity of spirit was remarkable; 
and no less striking was the dignity of character, the 
self-control and yet perfect naturalness and spontaneity. 
All seemed to be fond of fun and laughed heartily at 
times. They joked one another freely during the round- 
table discussions. Nevertheless, their docility and their 
quickness to appreciate the proprieties were very notice- 
able. I found them entirely frank as to the characteristic 
weaknesses of the masses of their race. What might 
have seemed pomposity or bumptiousness proved to be 
childlike expressiveness, or dramatic make-believe, when 
more closely observed. It is strange that many of the 
observers of negro character so easily charge these 
people with bumptiousness when it is so evident that 
most of them delight in playing a part and in "showing 
off" as children do. 

They evinced a most interesting combination pf un- 
conventionality and politeness. Indeed, the better ne- 
groes in the South are really a very adaptable and ver- 
satile people, possessed of a certain kind of social tact 
that helps to explain why they are not ''accommodating 
enough" either to give up in despair or to commit con- 
stant errors of behavior toward the white people. 

The negroes seem to be a cautious race; hence the 
whites are inclined to doubt the n^^o's belief in his own 
rights. I doubt whether we have a right to call them 
unrevengeful and ungrateful, and so on. For their ap- 
parent lack of resentment is clearly due in many cases to 
caution, in other cases to amiability, and not seldom to 
the thorough way in which they have been trained to 
respect white people. True, they do not as a rule seem 
to possess the sullen, steady, deep-seated revengefulness 

292 Race fl>tti)0Q(tti» in ttie %outti 

popularly ascribed to the American Indian ; but, then, the 
ntgro, in spite of being so close to "savagery," usually 
has an eye for results. He may be unthrifty ; but he is 
certainly capable of remarkable self-control, as well as 
of painstaking thrift. Although I have observed negro 
character all my life, I find a great difference between 
the conventional observations of my youth and the more 
disinterested and discriminating study of the last nine 
years, during which my observation has been more direct 
and careful. The negro's lack of dignity of character 
has always been a source of lack of confidence in the 
race; but although the teachers in this institute repre- 
sent a higher grade of negro character, they do prove 
to my satisfaction that the term negro by no means con- 
notes shallowness and futility in the deeper emotional 
life. I shall never forget the mingling of constraint, 
pathetic sense of gratitude, and childlike expressiveness 
of some of the young women when with faltering lips 
they strove to express in open institute their appreciation 
of what the conductor had striven to do for them. The 
calling down of God's blessings on one's head by these 
simple folk is an experience that I should like some of 
our Southern radicals to experience. The young women 
in the institute evidently felt the strangeness of speaking 
in terms of gratitude of a white man, but, nevertheless, 
were not to be deterred from expressing their feelings. 
The result was pathetic in its poignant humanness. 

One night, at the request of the institute, I spoke to 
the colored people generally at one of their churches. I 
took two prominent white citizens along with me as 
"witnesses." Experience has warned me that above all 
things an investigator of the negro question must avoid 
even the appearance of evil in talking to the negroes 
with regard to their relations to the whites. The gentle^ 

9 Coutttp ]n0titute fot iQegto Ceac|iet0 293 

men just mentioned avowed sympathy with everything I 
said to the negroes. Although both men were above 
suspicion as to their Caucasian and Southern orthodoxy, 
they nevertheless thought it best to tell no one that they 
had gone to the meeting. In other words, they avoided 
the necessity of making explanations. 

During my speech I reviewed the disasters of Recon- 
struction and drew a rather dark picture of the status 
of the negro at present; but I did not refrain from ex- 
pressing my firm belief, as part of my belief in God, that 
the negro folk, somehow, somewhere, in God's good time, 
would have the opportunity of the fullest development 
of which they as a people were capable, although they 
must be content with a subordinate place as long as the 
two races dwelt together. One of the leading negroes 
said to me afterwards : "You carried us so deep into the 
darkness that I was 'most afraid you wouldn't get us 
out!" This remark is typical. It combines humor, pa- 
tience, cheerfulness, faith and childlike expressiveness. 

As among the whites, discipline proved to be the most 
popular topic. The discussion of corporal punishment 
reminded me of similar discussions in white institutes 
thirty years ago. However, it was interesting to know 
that some of the oldest teachers, ex-slaves, had found 
out the dangers and inutility of constant corporal pun- 
ishment. One teacher put on the board as a recipe for 
good discipline the single word, '^kindness." I amended 
by prefixing the word **firm." I think that this sugges- 
tion, perhaps partly because the incident was a little 
dramatic, made a deeper impression on the institute than 
anything else I did. At any rate, several teachers men- 
tioned it at the last, and especially thanked me for show- 
ing that kindness and firmness must go together in dis« 
cipline. I reminded them that sometimes one must be 

294 Race SMbonotji in tht %outb 

even rigid in order to be kind, and that they must so 
regard some of the treatment their white friends be- 
stowed on them. Indeed, it is sometimes necessary to 
run the risk of hurting the feelings of the whole negro 
race in order to keep down the foolish and dangerous 
effervescence of some misguided negroes. ''Whom He 
loveth He chasteneth" has been said of the Deity Him- 
self. And the negroes must learn that their true friends 
are not necessarily those that tell negroes of their ab- 
stract rights, but rather those that remind them of their 
duties of patience and self-control and humility. If 
ever a race needed to conquer by serving, the negro race 
is such a one. No good will ever come to the negroes 
from their "leaders" speaking of the "so-called negro 
problem," and so on. These leaders must learn to 
realize that there is always a problem, a most serious 
and deadly one, when one race holds another in spiritual 
bondage, without intending to give that other the free 
rights of citizenship, because of the inevitable connec- 
tion of all human rights with the only worth-while 
rights of free manhood,— liberty, equality and frater- 

To assume that the n^[ro's thrift and soberness and 
the like will make him a citizen and the possessor of 
freely acknowledged spiritual freedom is a most dan- 
gerous error. There is no observable te ndency on the 
part of the Southern whites "to allow the negroes as a 
race to become complete citizens :ri6r ts"*1ffie re any t en- 
dency td'"treaf individual negroes u&OaiilYi^uj^^ 
than as members of a race. To suppose that ffie ac- 
quiri^ment of thrifty habits and facility in a trade will 
spiritually free the negro is an absurd blunder held, I 
hope, by no one. ^Industrial education and the like are 
ig;ood in themselves, but economic and intellectual growth. 

9 Count; Institute for if^egro Ceacbet0 295 

even along with moral and spiritual development, will 
not necessarily change one iota the social status of the 
negro. Although negroes may not seek to mingle so- 
cially with the whites, they remain unfree as a race just 
so long as the race barrier is raised against them so- 
cially, just so long as higher types of negro individuals 
are treated simply as representatives of an inferior rac^/ 
Granted that this will always be so under the general 
conditions as they obtain to-day, and one grants that 
there is a most stupendous race problem to be solved, — 
the problem of spiritual slavery versus spiritual free- 
dom. To separate social rights from political and re- 
ligious and civic rights is to do what nature and his- 
torical democracy have never done. The mixing of 
blood has always solved social problems. Granting that 
blood is not to be mixed, how is the problem to be 
solved? I confess that it seems to me necessary for the 
negro race to be regarded as inferior and subordinate 
until a more complete segregation of the races is effected. 
In the absence of a probing investigation, however, this 
segregation solution must be put forth only tentatively. 
The above remarks may seem to go far afield, but the 
thoughts they convey continually suggested themselves 
to me as the negroes discussed the discipline of their 
own children. Must we not treat in general the negroes 
as children? And do not all children have the same 
general status, in spite of vast individual differences 
among them? Can we dare to treat a few children as 
if they were too grown-up to be called children? And 
may it not be with a race as with children generally, 
that a "long infancy" leads to better intellectual results 
than does a precocious development? I am unable to 
answer these questions definitely, and most questions 
with regard to the negro problem; but I think that it is 

296 Race S>ttboitot9 in tbt %otttb 

important to ask them, and to put them as variously as 
possible, in order that we may the better see the prob- 
lem in all its bearings. 

I noticed no "impudence" and very little ''servility" 
among these negro teachers. A few of them showed in 
their street manners a little exaggeration of courtesy. 
In all such cases the individuals had been reared tmder 
the regime of slavery. Some of the whites seem to like 
the "Massa" style of politeness in negroes. For my 
part, I detest it. I can hardly understand how any real 
American should enjoy the manifestations of a servile 
spirit. Nor do I think that there is a real humility in 
this show of "the white man's nigger" exaggerated re- 
spect for the dominant race ; but even sickening servility 
is safer than social assertiveness and "independence" in 
demeanor. Most negroes are naturally astute in deal- 
ing with the white man, and most of them have a sense 
of humor that is anything but servile. I doubt whether 
the negro that always has the word "Boss" on his lips 
is either especially polite or especially humble; rather 
he is habituated to the use of servile words, or else 
cunning enough to know that they serve as a convenient 
mask. I have expressed this doubt to several repre- 
sentative "polite" negroes, and the look of deep intel- 
ligence on their face when the matter was broached was 
very illuminating. "Playing 'possum" seems to be a 
device of natural selection in the interests of survival. 
Many of us who belong to the white race, however, feel 
nothing but humiliation and shame when we find that we 
are causing negroes to adapt themselves to our arro- 
gance by the use of pseudo-humble words and a de- 
meanor of pretended servility. 

Let me repeat here, what I have often said before, that 
it is one thing, and an entirely proper thing, to depre- 

9 Count; Institute fot JOegto Ceaciiet0 297 

cate all social intercourse between the races, and a very 
different thing to deny the democratic principle that a 
man's worth depends on his character and not on his 
race. Let every white man oppose with all his might 
anything that may be construed by negroes as an ap- 
proach to social communion between the races; but let 
him at the same time take this attitude conscientiously, 
because it seems best under the circumstances, and not 
because he wishes to humiliate "niggers." It is well if 
our "instincts" go with our conscience in this matter of 
drawing the color line ; but race enmity should not enter 
into our attitude, and we should not forswear our demo- 
cratic principles simply because wise and foreseeing ex- 
pediency, perhaps fused with natural feeling, tells us 
to block all approaches to "social recognition" for ne- 

However, let me not be misunderstood. I believe that 
our attitude in drawing the social color line is distinctly 
different from that in our minds when we keep certain 
"undesirable" white persons in their "place." I believe 
that it is right to let every negro understand fully and 
clearly that we refrain from giving him social recog- 
nition not because he is individually unsuitable, but be- 
cause he is a negro, and it is not wise or seemly to treat 
even the highest negro as if he were on the same footing 
with any type of white man whatsoever. I may be will- 
ing to grant that he is personally much superior to certain 
white men; but his social status is one, so far as social 
mingling is concerned, different in kind from that of 
the htunblest white man; for the white man's grand- 
children may win our fullest social recognition, and the 
negro's descendants cannot advance one step toward the 
welcome that we extend socially to white individuals 
who have shown themselves to be fit for the higher social 

298 Race £l>ttf)oQO£p in tbt %outb 

life. I am willing to tell the negro that he is able to 
become socially ''equal" to anything he may hold up as 
a standard; but that admission will not abate one tittle 
of my rigidity in contending that all possible social com- 
munioq between the races must be regarded as anath- 
ema. / For instance, following the custom in vogue 
amofig the white people of Memphis in school circles, I 
called the negro teachers "Mister," etc. ; but I was care- 
ful to tell them that the title was official only. One may 
regret to have to make any such declaration; — but here 
again we have a case where apparent cruelty is real 
kindness. Not a few negroes put a false construction 
on any indication of unusual courtesy. Most whites in 
the South realize the dilemma of the Kentucky Colonel 
who was at a loss as to what to call Booker Washington, 
and compromised by dubbing him "professor" ! 

After the negroes had unanimously adopted the "plat- 
form" that I had prepared at their request, they asked 
for permission to express themselves with regard to the 
institute. Of course their expressions took the form 
of appreciative statements with respect to the work of 
the conductor. Their "tongue-tied simplicity" would, as 
I have already said, have softened the hearts of various 
white radicals had these been present. Practically all 
the teachers present were childlike believers in Jesus as 
the Christ, the Son of the living God ; and as they spoke 
in childish accents of their respectful gratitude I could 
not but think of the saying of that same Jesus : "Whoso 
shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me^ 
it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about 
his neck and that he were drowned in the depths of the 
sea." In calling attention to the following platform 
which the teachers adopted after debate and reference 
to a committee, I do not wish to have it thought that I 

9 Countp Institute for if^egto Ceacbet0 299 

attribute any extraordinary value to the document it- 
self ; but I do frankly think that it has a typical value in 
showing how the two racial points of view can be recon- 
ciled at the present, pending a full and worthy study of 
the whole question of the relations between the races. 

After a week's work with these colored teachers two 
impressions were deepened in my mind: First that we 
white folk, especially those of us that are Southerners, 
should ever ponder in our hearts the idea of the meaning 
of such phrases as "noblesse oblige/^ "chivalry," "the 
grand old name of gentleman" ; and, second, that while 
we must do all in our power to render ultimately justice 
and freedom rather than mere pity and condescension, 
we must do nothing to make the least white man feel that, 
as a white man, he is at a disadvantage as compared with 
the loftiest type of negro. Let the "higher" negro's life 
and character shame the "lower" white man, and stimu- 
late him into greater exertion to prove himself worthy of 
his race; but let not this same white man feel that any 
of us are willing that he should go down beneath the 
negro because of the latter's superiority in apparent char- 
acter and prosperity. "The Jew first." 




(Sept., 1912. Prepared at request of institute.) 

We, the colored teachers of Yalobusha County, Mis- 
sissippi, in institute assembled at Coffeeville, hereby 
adopt the following platform of principles and promises, 
and pledge ourselves to put these resolutions into prac- 
tice as far as we are able, God helping us : 

I. Whatever else we may do as teachers, we promise 
to teach our pupils the dignity of all honest labor and 
the meanness and dishonesty of idleness and vagrancy; 
the sense of responsibility, especially staunchness in carry- 
ing out their promises and other obligations, and in 
attention to punctuality, neatness and accuracy in all their 
work, whether in school or elsewhere ; the duty of prompt 
obedience to parents, teachers and all in authority over 
them; respect for law and cheerful willingness to aid 
in the suppression of vice and crime ; the value of physical 
and moral cleanness, and the horrible danger and wretch- 
edness brought about by wild passions and lack of sober 
self-control. We call upon our ministers and other in- 
fluential people, including the white people who regard 
us as Gkxi's humble children, to aid us in teaching the 
children of our race to be self-respecting but modest, 
patient but hopeful, thrifty but generous. However un- 
fair it may seem to call our race childish and yet expect 
full-developed conduct from us, we realize that we must 


Platform of Ptinciples anQ 1^tomi$t$ 301 

be more than usually worthy in order to gain the respect 
of the world and soften its prejudice against us. 

Believing that much crime and misery are due to bad 
health, and that the progress of our race is endangered 
by reason of the carelessness of our people as to the 
health of their bodies, we promise to teach practical 
hygiene and sanitation as if it were a part of our re- 
ligion, an aspect of godliness rather than "'something 
next to godliness." We ask our white friends to help 
us maintain proper health conditions not only because 
we believe that die white people as a rule wish us well, 
but also because their health and their children's is en- 
dangered by our diseases. 

No religious faith is worth while unless it renews our 
characters and renders our daily conduct purer, more 
dutiful and more thoughtful. We therefore promise to 
teach our pupils, and influence others to believe, that the 
"good ground of an honest and a good heart" is the 
proper seed-plot for the gospel, and we ask our ministers 
to help our people always to associate religious feeling 
with upright, clean and noble conduct. 

We pledge ourselves to do our utmost in having home 
and school and church work together for the practical 
principles above set forth, and we promise faithfully to 
teach our young people the sacredness of home ties and 
home life, and to set them a true example by our own 
honorable and scrupulous conduct. 

II. We urge our fellow teachers to trust in our white 
friends everywhere, especially in the South, believing, 
that while our white friends regard it as necessary to 
treat us as a subordinate race in a state of tutelage, they 
will use their utmost endeavors Jo give us^ jn God's j[ood 
time, every opportunity for.i5v3opm^.tl^i^ 
children should have, especially in a democratic country. 

302 Bace fl)nt)o&0£p in tiie ^utii 

To this one end we express the fervent hope that the 
race question will be taken out of politics, and studied 
with the motive of Christianity and the method of sci- 
ence. We hoge^aj[i(Lpra}r,jJTPt ^>y1 will pq t jt jp^-^ tb^ 
heart of^gooqmcn somewhere to bring 
sionate study of the" racfe question in order that our 
white friends may be fritt ^y/^ni af^Vifty fnnj[ t4_gr der 
that we may look our future in the face intelligently. 

Although we bdic^i ITTTT llir wmjUi nf j'Vi'jy^iiitli 
vidual should be estimated in accordance with his char- 
acter, we realize the dangerous stupidity of making 
claims for abstract equality; for some abstract rights 
have no practical standing as compared with the wel- 
fare of society, and a dominant race must be expected 
to interpret the idea of social welfare in terms of their 
own success and happiness, first of all. It should be 
enough for our race that we practice social equality 
among ourselves as far as such practice is feasible. If 
the present condition of affairs in the South tends to 
stunt our full development as men and citizens, we be- 
lieve that our Southern friends, noted for their chivalrous 
regard for the weak, will sooner or later help us to gain 
our full spiritual freedom in some way. For their God 
is our God, and our God is their God. 

III. Whatever our fate as a race, we need to be 
prepared for our future. If the education given us does 
not produce right results, let the education be changed 
so that it will prepare us for life. Let dispassionate, 
scientific men show that all the members of our race 
are fitted for nothing but manual labor, and we will 
acquiesce in the decision. But so long as men of science 
believe that individual differences are as pronounced in 
our race as in other races, and as long as our race stands 
in need of professional services from our own people. 

Platfotm of Ptinciple0 anQ Ptomi0e0 303 

we believe that the more gifted among us should re- 
ceive an education that will enable them to serve their 
race in various professional capacities. 

Nevertheless, it is the opinion of educational leaders 
among the whites and among our own people that we 
especially need industrial education. As teachers of 
Yalobusha County we therefore promise to carry out 
the following scheme of activities through our individual 
efforts, and through our teachers' association, our insti- 
tutes and in every other feasible way : 

1. The formation of com clubs, tomato clubs, and 
the like. 

2. Attempting to ascertain whether it is feasible for 
our county colored people to have the services of a 
teacher of domestic science and art, after the manner of 
the arrangement about to be made with Copiah County 
by the Jeanes Fund. 

3. Correspondence with the colored industrial schools 
at Okolona, Utica and elsewhere. 

4. Working toward the establishment of an agricul- 
tural high school in our county, with the full concur- 
rence and support of the white people of the county. 

5. Trying to have at least a few of our more talented 
pupils of good character enjoy greater educational op- 
portunities than the present educational facilities of the 
county afford. 

Unanimously endorsed September 20, 19 12. 

E. The Caste of the Kin. 


(Read before Southern Psychological Society, Qiattanoogm, Dec^ 

The psychologist of to-day believes in the practical 
value of his science and desires to see it influential in 
the affairs of everyday life without losing aught of its 
dignified belief in itself as an admirable academic dis- 
cipline. There is thus no need that I should apologize 
for putting forth a few rough notes of a social-psjrcho- 
logical or character-study nature before a body of men 
who are none the less interested in Southern problems 
because of avowed interest in psychology. Nor is it 
necessary to introduce the coming science of psychology 
of character to men who know full well that the appli- 
cation of psychology to the principles and practice of 
education constitutes the most important task that the 
mental and social sciences must set themselves. 

The negro problem is in great need of characterologi- 
cal (ethological) treatment, for are we not continually 
saying that what the negroes need is education that shall 
cultivate their social, moral and industrial tendencies and 
talents? And is not the claim often made that the 
negro's religious and aesthetic instincts are distinctive? 
Consider, too, how true it is that the race question may 
be called one of consciousness. Prejudice, pride, enmity 
— what are these but material for the ethologist to study ? 
I say the ethologist rather than the psychologist, because 


Supposes Bacial Ctatt0 of ir^egto 305 

the former, the student of character, is especially con- 
cerned in seeing the national, human and educational 
bearings of the study. 

If, as seems likely, the apparent drift away from ille- 
gitimate amalgamation of the two races is conditioned 
by a growing spirit of enmity ; if the Southerner's aver- 
sion to anything even remotely associated with possi- 
bilities of social communion between the races is becom- 
ing more and more the fashion in all parts of the country ; 
if the Southerner is becoming inclined to narrow the 
economic sphere of the negro — ^and all these assertions 
are made with some show of reason — ^an ethological 
study of negro traits, even when avowedly based on 
prevailing popular judgments by the white folk, may 
have some value in stimulating the more careful study 
that, in my earnest opinion, is even now the bounden 
duty of the people of this country. 

Watching the trend of events and discussion, one sees 
only two so-called "solutions" of the negro problem that 
at present appear to deserve careful consideration : first, 
that of a parallel civilization, with more or less segrega- 
tion locally for_tlw negro people ;.rslc^ 
carefully planned organization of a scheme for coloniza- 
tion of the* negfoSTo^BiTcaiTied" oul durmgji geriod oi* 
say, iifty yeafsT If "either' of these plans is finally 
adopted; the negro must be appropriately educated. Espe- 
cially necessary is it that those habits and instincts in 
him be trained that will develop initiative and pioneer 
qualities of every kind. Sooner or later he must cut 
himself loose from the leading strings of the dominant 
race. His racial self -consciousness must be stimulated. 
His race distinctiveness in the psychological realm must 
be brought to view. Are his characteristics such that he 
he may safely dwell in the future within striking dis- 

3o6 Race fl)nt)o&oip in tiie ^utii 

tance of the white man's masterful arm? Will he be 
able to maintain himself, after a reasonable period of 
tutelage, without the white man's helpful care? Of 
course these questions have already been answered off- 
hand, in opposite ways, by "negro-lovers'* and "negro- 
haters" — if I may be allowed to disguise these easy gen- 
eralizers under uncouth names. But sober men of sci- 
ence ought to set an example of sober statement, without 
show of sentimentality and without lack of moral ear- 
nestness. I shall therefore be pardoned for a brief dis- 
cussion of the popular view of negro traits, because of 
my strong conviction that the scientific student of char- 
acter must become a leader in any worth-while study 
of America's most imminent and distressing ethical 


Allow me, for the sake of brevity, to select six leading 
tendencies of a primitive sort from my working ethologi- 
cal scheme. Inasmuch as these tendencies are all noted 
in popular appreciation of character, no harm will be 
wrought by my use of terms that I cannot stop to ex- 

The six tendencies I divide into two groups : the first 
group contains three sensational or instinctive tenden- 
cies, and the second three relational or habitual ten- 
dencies. The sensational tendencies under consideration 
\ are: appropriative, tendencies to take, seize, grab, pick 
\\ up, acquire, appropriate ; the expressive tendencies, those 
that lead to gesture, vocal expression, garrulousness, 
show of feelings, strutting, showing off, fashion, and 
the like ; the gregarious tendencies, hunger for company, 
liking for a crowd, sociability of the indiscriminate kind, 
mass tendencies in general. 

Supposes IRacial Ctaits of ir^egto 307 

The relational tendencies are the following : the asser- 
tive are crude manifestations of will, animal initiative, 
impulses leading to resentment, vindictiveness, and so 
on; the responsive — crude altruism, animal sympathy, 
the impulse to be en rapport, and other impulses of like 
nature; perceptive — impulses of curiosity, observation 
and so on. These too brief characterizations must suf- 
fice to hint at the general nature of the tendency norms 
of characterization used by popular thought. It will be 
noted that the sensational tendencies lend themselves to 
the shallower, more concrete forms of impulse and feel- 
ing, whereas the relational tendencies are more intellec- 
tual and volitional. 

How does popular observation judge negro character 
with respect to these primitive trends of character ? 


Appro priative. Popular judgment makes a joke of the 
negro's supposed inclination to "just take" things. He 
is supposed to purloin after a childish fashion. South- 
erners never tire of descanting on the "bucket brigade." 
Petty thieving is practically expected from the servants 
in many households. Many curious illustrations are 
given of negroes that "take" little things without show- 
ing any disposition toward large thefts. It is freely 
asserted that the lower grade of negroes show no sense 
of guilt when detected in these petty pilferings. Many 
identify the average negro's proclivity to live from hand 
to mouth with this native tendency to appropriate what 
he can lay his hands on. 

Gregarious. The negro is supposed to have a passion 
for company. It is thought that funerals and weddings 
and crowds of all kinds "put him in his element." The 

3o8 mace fl)nt)o&o£p in tiie %otttb 

whites aver that negroes will follow a leader even to the 
point of showing much bravery, especially if the leader 
is a member of the dominant race. The negro's religious 
fashions are also brought up as illustrations of this pro- 
pensity. When the negro cares little for his churchy 
it is averred, he more than makes up for his lack of 
church attendance and religious mass emotionalism by 
his fondness for all sorts and descriptions of lodges and 
associations, whose prime attractions are their general 
sociability and sense of mass solidarity. In his careful 
study of external negro traits, Dr. Howard W. Odum 
makes much of the negro's sociability, thus confirming, in 
a measure, the popular opinion. 

Expressiveness. Some say that the negro does not 
sing and dance as he used to. But nearly everyone calls 
attention to the negro's boisterous laughter, his love of 
show, his tendency to strut and show off, his demonstra- 
tiveness in greeting and in grief, his garrulousness, his 
love of big words, his bumptiousness, and so on. Of 
course, reference is here had to the "natural animal," 
not to the sophisticated negro on his guard in the pres- 
ence of whites or anxious to show his respect for social 
convention. His so-called imitativeness is thought to be 
largely his love of fashion, which is in part a mani- 
festation of the expressive instinct, when crudely dis- 
played. The negro's method of collecting money in 
church, as described by Dr. Odum, is apparently another 
instance of this trait. 

Let us now turn to the negro's supposed characteris- 
tics with regard to the relational tendencies. 

Assertive. Nearly all observers agree that the negro 
is not resentful. They admit that he may be roused to 
fits of anger quite easily, but seem to think that he does 
not cherish vindictiveness and other deeply based 

9uppo0eD laacial Crafts of Ji^egto 309 

sions of the assertive sort. On the other hand, it is 
thought that he does not show any great degree of 
initiative; that he lacks the "do or die" characteristics; 
that his egotism is superficial and childish and not firm 
and masculine. His vanity is regarded as expressive 
rather than assertive. 

Responsive. Although claiming that the negro is so- 
ciable, many observers deny his capacity for sympathy, 
gratitude, and habitual altruism. It is claimed that he 
does not look after his sick as he should; that he has 
little real sympathy for his children; that he has little 
talent for friendship, though inordinately fond of com- 
pany. He is said to remember kindness no more easily 
than injury. His deeds of daring in behalf of white 
people whose commands he is accustomed to take and to 
whose circle he '^belongs,*' as an humble retainer of "our 
folks," are contrasted with his callousness toward his 
own color. 

Perceptive. Popular character study does not take 
much note of this trait. But those who have spoken 
about it seem inclined to deny that the negfro is observ- 
ant and full of curiosity about things in general. One 
observer tested several negroes that worked for him, and 
claims to have found that they failed to show the natu- 
ral curiosity that the average white child would have 
shown. "They don't notice things unless their desire to 
appropriate or to be like other people, or something of 
that kind, is aroused," says the observer. Visitors to 
negro schools sometimes say that the children are likely 
to observe the external features of the visitor's make-up, 
but show little interest in what he has to tell them. Some 
students of negro character contrast unfavorably the 
negro's mild powers of observation with the American 
Indian's keenness of perception. 

310 laace SMbototj! in tbt %otttb 

Analogous judgments are expressed with respect to 
the negro's mental processes that underlie and enter into 
his character tendencies. Thus it is claimed that he is 
sensational and affective rather than volitional and in- 
tellectual. His emotions are regarded as "peripheral" 
or sensational rather than as strong in relational and the 
more deeply based impulsive elements. His imagination 
is looked upon as merely concrete and sensuous; his 
assimilative powers as lacking in analysis and compari- 
son, except through superficial analogy; his imitative- 
ness is regarded as mimetic rather than intellectual like 
that of the Japanese. There is complaint on account of 
his feebleness of voluntary attention, sustained endeavor, 
enthusiastic and continuous pursuit of things intellectuaL 
The assertion is made that at adolescence, when the 
average white child's powers undergo a rapid growth, 
especially in the intellectual and volitional and deeper 
affective directions, the negro youth becomes stupid with 
an access of sensuality, instead of the higher powers 
of mind. 


How far are these popular notions scientifically cor- 
rect? No one, it seems to me, is in a position to rq>ly, 
for there has been practically no serious study of negro 
character by the trained psychologist and ethologist. Nor 
has much been found out as to the negro's nervous sys- 
tem. Dr. Bean's study of the negro brain that appeared 
a few years ago in the American Journal of Anatomy 
(Vol. IV) goes far to bear out the common judgment 
as to the average negro's characteristics. He thought 
that he found the n^ro brain strong on the sensational 
side and weak in association fibers. "*" 

* Dr. F. Boas, however, holds that Bean's conclusions have been 
refuted by Mall in Am, Jour, of Anat, Vol. IX. 

9uppo0eD Racial Ctait0 o( n^egto 3^^ 

Granting that the popular opinion is correct — simply 
for the sake of argument — docs it follow that the usual 
conclusion with regard to the negro's innate intellectual 
and volitional weakness is in any deep sense true? Is 
the negro's trouble simply lack of development? Is his 
social status such that his character has little stimulus 
for development ? Are the better grades of negro brains 
that have been examined in any wise the product of edu- 
cation? Must the negro's education be carried on in a 
fashion to develop his particular kind of brain? Are we 
stunting him by subjecting him to the white man's system 
of culture? 

These questions, and many like unto them, do not 
answer themselves. Even Southern gentlemen and ladies 
who "know all about the negro" are scarcely capable of 
speaking in terms of scientific accuracy with regard to 
the immensely complex facts of an alien people. Nowa- 
days the whites very seldom have anything to do with 
the real negro as he is spontaneously in the setting of his 
natural social environment. Nor is anything gained by 
repeating the statement, so weary from overworking, 
that negro frontal sutures close prematurely, and thus 
stop brain development. Who knows that the sutures 
in the negro do, as a general rule, close "prematurely" in 
negro development, even granting the truth of the asser- 
tion that they do close at a calendar age earlier than in 
the case of the whites? And who knows that this sup- 
posed premature closing of sutures produces the fearful 
effects attributed to it? Further, do the sutures close 
early while active education is going on? These are 
only a few samples of questions that should be asked and, 
if possible, answered with regard to the most time- 
honored of all anatomical statements with r^ard to the 
negro race. 

312 Race SMbotitts in tbt %otttb 

To those who claim that the negro is essentially and 
hopelessly sensational, sensual, superficial, lacking in con- 
centration and initiative, and all the rest of it, we may 
well say, ''Important if true." But popular psychology 
cannot decide such questions. And, when most important 
results may depend on our judgment in such a matter, 
it seems heartless and stupid to neglect the scientific 
ascertainment of the truth, or as near an approximation 
to the truth as the scientific methods of to-day will 
allow. Here is at once home and foreign missionary 
work for the psychologist. Will he get to work? Will 
an appreciable amount of money and time and talent be 
given to the scientific study of a problem that affects 
the whole theory of modern civilization and the weal 
or woe of the Southern states, to say nothing of the 
negro race itself ? 

We may not be able to solve the negro problem by 
means of psychological and ethological and other kinds 
of scientific research. But it does seem clear th^t such 
study must contribute to the solution if one is possible. 
Even though investigation should not be productive of 
very important results, it is sure to throw some light upon 
this dark and troubled problem. 

When the Greeks were woefully afflicted by a plague 
that swept off the flower of the youth during dense 
gloom that hid the animating beams of the sun, this was 
their prayer : "O Father Zeus, if we must die, let it be 
in the light!" And this ought to be the prayer of the 
South to-day in the deeper truth-loving spirit of our 
twentieth century civilization in this great western land 
of freedom and democracy. 



(Based on studies made at Memphis and New York City, 1909- 
191 1.) 

''Who was that person that was so abused some time 
since for saying that in the conflict of two races our 
sympathies naturally go with the higher? No matter 
who he was. Now look at what is going on in India — 
a white, superior 'Caucasian' race against a dark- 
skinned, inferior, but still 'Caucasian' race — and where 
are English and American sympathies? We can't stop 
to settle all the doubtful questions; all we know is that 
the brute nature is sure to come out most strongly in 
the lower race, and it is the general law that the human 
side of humanity should treat the brutal side as it does 
the same nature in the inferior animals — ^tame it or crush 
it. The India mail brings stories of women and children 
outraged and murdered; the royal stronghold is in the 
hands of the baby-killers. England takes down the Map 
of the World, which she has girdled with empire, and 
makes a correction thus: Delhi. Dele, The civilized 
world says. Amen." — "Autocrat of the Breakfast Table." 

Had the babes murdered at Delhi been French, otu" 
natural sympathies would have been less aroused; had 
they been Chinese, still less; had they been American, 
much more ; had they been Australian blacks, very much 
less than in the case of Chinese. We sympathize with 
the higher race because we are "higher" and sympathize 


314 Race SMbototj! in tiie %outh 

with our like Our abstract ethical sympathy is far less 
intense and far less "natural" than our sympathy due to 
responsiveness to our very special kind. We do not on 
this account discount the worthiness of ethical sentiment ; 
we simply note the patent fact that all our higher faiths 
and feelings root themselves in natural instincts and 
tendencies ; we realize the truth that the highest morality 
is more or less factitious, if not fictitious, unless rooted in 
healthy animal and human sociality. New Testament 
morality grows out of the ethical norms of the Old 
Testament, even as the relatively high morality of the 
prophets grew out of the natural ethnic ethics of the 
"natural man." "First the natural man and then the 
spiritual man." To reverse this order is to invite senti- 
mentalism and moral decay that come from unnatural- 
ness of every description. And this principle is not con- 
fined to racial sympathies. It is likely that the loss of 
normal sexual sensitiveness in higher types of human 
beings provokes disaster to civilized life, especially when 
it shows itself in women, who are probably by nature 
generally far more passive than man in their sexual 
feelings. So, too, no matter how high a race's morality, 
a loss of the crude animal fondness for offspring that 
makes a mother a very panther in defense of her children 
is a real menace to civilization. Natural appetites for 
simple food and drink ; natural liking for play and vigor- 
ous uncomplicated exercise; natural patriotism that 
would fight for fellows be they right or wrong; natural 
reverence for the Mysterious Higher in man and na- 
ture : these instincts and many like unto them are essen- 
tial to the usefulness, happiness and success of indi- 
viduals and nations. We dare not kick from under us 
the steps that enable us to ascend the steeps of enlight- 
enment. Mere intellectualism has ever meant, will ever 

JUatt %8mpat1ni ant antagoniistn 315 

mean, decadence. Even that most recent fetish of 
American thought, "Efficiency," must acknowledge at 
last that there is an efficiency of feeling and sentiment 
that will wreak vengeance on all who subordinate it to 
merely intellectual and volitional "results." Pragmatism 
is false to the core unless its philosophy of results takes 
into account the emotional balance in life. 

Dr. W. Cunningham, in his recent little work on 
"Christianity and Social Questions," clearly recognizes 
the personal-soci^i aspect of all morality. Even with 
regard to work which the prophets of efficiency are in- 
clined to depersonalize to the utmost, he has this very 
old-fashioned but salutary definition : "Work is the ac- 
tive effort to give effect to the will of God" (p. i86). 
Realizing the essential unpredictableness of the feeling 
side of personality, he says (p. 209) : "The attempt to 
interpret the ground of other people's actions is only 
likely to be an unconscious revelation of dominant mo- 
tives in our own minds." We are sometimes astonished 
at the behavior of those who make a point of minimiz- 
ing the personal aspect of public service, and yet at 
the same time do not hesitate to make war upon the 
work of public servants because of acts committed by 
the latter which would be inefficient or insincere if done 
by the critic or investigator, but which may be fairly 
efficient and perfectly moral to the consciousness of 
the actors themselves, whose temperaments and training 
may be very different from the critic's. 

"A duty changes its character when it is done under 
state compulsion," is another of Cunningham's thoughts 
that deserves close attention nowadays. There is an edu- 
cative loss, as he well says, when men are relieved of 
responsibility through paying taxes, through compulsory 
education laws, and the like. Certainly the present ten- 

3i6 mace fl)ttiioDO£|i in tbt %ottt!b 

dency is to compel men to be moral through law or sys- 
tem or other forms of ''control." Machinery is good 
and necessary, but it is a doubtful help if it attempts to 
take the place of personal responsibility or to depre- 
ciate the ethical value of unforced, natural, "affective" 

Since these things are so, it will be well for us, in 
discussing the sympathy and the antagonism shown in 
the contact of diverse races with one another, to inves- 
tigate the real character values of the primitive impulses 
of social man. Such a procedure is especially necessary 
for those that would understand the attitude of South- 
em whites toward negro individuals and the negro race. 
Attention has often been called to the claim that North- 
erners like the negro race but dislike the negroes indi- 
vidually considered, whereas Southerners like individual 
negroes but are antagonistic toward the race as such. 
When we consider that Northerners like the negro race 
in the South, and are disposed to share Southern liking 
for individual negroes that "keep their place," the dif- 
ference between the attitude of the sections amounts to 
very little. Northerners whose early Southern experi- 
ence brings them into contact with negro irresponsible- 
ness are prone to dislike negroes individually and racially, 
for they have not been brought into touch with the more 
amiable characteristics of the negro and fail to realize 
that efficiency is a very relative term. And so the phe- 
nomena of sympathy are very complex and difficult to 
understand. Indeed, some of us have seen individuals of 
the white race portray every kind and degree of s)rm- 
pathy and antagonism toward the lower race within the 
period of a single year. Some of us experience in our- 
selves all shades of sympathetic or of antagonistic ten- 
dencies, in accordance with changes in mood, economic 

Bate 0pmpatt)p and atttoffonism 317 

contact, change of surroundings, and the like. Unless 
we analyze the various kinds of sympathy and try to 
ascertain the essential meaning of the sympathetic im- 
pulse itself, we shall find ourselves in a psychological 
tangle that will tend to trip us up continually in our at- 
tempts to generalize. 


I. Ethical Sympathy. We sympathize with the op- 
pressed, with those that are making a brave fight against 
great odds, with those who are contending for a prin- 
ciple. This sympathy has been felt for people like the 
Japanese, the Armenians, the Cubans, the Poles, the 
Finns, the Balkan allies. It is evidently based on im- 
aginative construction that is ordinarily rather fragile. 
I have known men to change in their sympathies from 
the Japanese side to the Russian after forming the 
acquaintance of one Russian gentleman. It is doubtful 
whether Califomtans shared the sympathy felt for the 
Japanese by the rest of the country. Not a few South- 
erners grew lukewarm in their sympathy (or the "op- 
pressed Cubans" as soon as they were told that the in- 
surgents were for the most part negroes. I have noted 
that a whole roomful of company disclaimed sympathy 
for the Boers when a traveler described how filthy in 
their habits many of the Boers were. Northerners very 
often become antagonistic toward the idea of "poor, 
down-trodden negroes" when these same Northerners 
really know the happy-go-lucky blacks in the South. 

Underlying this form of sympathy is evidently a kind 
of imaginative expressiveness. Most of us have ro- 
mantic and generous sentiments on tap. The tales of 

3i8 laace flhttioDos? in tbt %outb 

other people's sufferings or heroism stir our sympathy 
or our enthusiasm. We vaguely picture these aliens as 
like unto oiu-selves. When the imaginary bond of kin- 
ship is cut away we are apt to lose the verve of our 
interest and sympathy; for our imaginative expressive- 
ness seems to depend on our native responsiveness to 
our kind for any really permanent tap-root John Brown 
was probably insane, but certainly consistent in his sym- 
pathy for the negroes. Perhaps extremes of incon- 
sistency and of consistency are alike pathological! 
Brown kissed a negro child, and that kiss indicated that 
his ethical attitude, such as it was, and distorted as it 
seems to some of us, was based upon vital responsive- 
ness, real sympathy, though associated with lack of sym- 
pathy for his own people. 

I do not deny that men may experience highly intel- 
lectualized forms of ethical sympathy; but with the loss 
or the pathological exaggeration of the feeling element 
goes much of the instinctive and effective naturalness of 
the sentiment. And when a sentiment has become simply 
a mildly modulated principle, men cease to die for it or 
live for it. Hence one pays little attention to the ethical 
sympathy begotten of reading and palace car touring. 
In order to be really ethical, a sentiment must have the 
ingredients of the ethical impulse. One of these, one of 
the most important, is natural, spontaneous responsive- 
ness, which at bottom is diffused consciousness of kin- 
ship, and is due to psychological and biological likeness. 
Some reader will naturally ask the question, "Is there 
no truth in the story of the Good Samaritan?" Very 
much, I reply. Many a modem good Samaritan would 
take care of a wounded dog, which, after all, is an ani- 
mal with sensitive nerves such as we have. "Who is my 
neighbor?" is a question answered in very catholic fash- 

Race ^pmpatbp antt antogontom 319 

ion by the Buddhist. The humanity of the Samaritan ts 
not }^rd to understand : the real puzzle is the inhuman 
conduct of the priest and the Levite! I believe that 
Jesus was trying to call attention to the childlike native 
responsiveness to distress shown by the Samaritan as 
contrasted with the inhuman ceremonialism of the priest 
and the Levite. If a Samaritan can be kind to a Jew, 
how much more should a Jew show loving kindness to 
his own people. 

However, most so-called ethical sympathy is not based 
on immediate appeal to childlike instincts, but is, as we 
have suggested above, a product of imagination and re< 
flection. You remember the story of the negro tramping 
through the Northern states and how he was informed 
of his right to "equality," but got neither food nor prac- 
tical sympathy. The story goes oa to say that on one 
occasion the negro rang a front door bell and was ac- 
costed by the master of the house with this vigorous 
command : "You black rascal, why don't you go round 
to the kitchen door and get your dinner!" Well, this 
would not ordinarily be regarded as a case of "ethical 
sympathy," but I doubt not that the negro was sincere 
when he replied, with his hat in his hand, "Thank God ! 
I done foun' a Southern gentleman !" We may eliminate 
the implied invidious comparison without losing the les- 
son of the story. The Southern gentleman made no 
pretense of beit^ ethical: he was simply a good, in- 
stinctive, childlike, natural, human animal! 

The white light of conscience is a blend of ethical colors, 
in which the many delicate moral tints all come from a 
few primary instincts. Let us take heed that we dc^- 
matically lay no claim to ethicality that does not ground 
itself in childlike instinctiveness. There is much truth 
in the Socratic statement: "No man does wrong will- 

320 Hace SHtboiitsg in tttt ftontii 

ingly." We sometimes sin against truth and htmianity 
in our supposed sympathy with ''oppressed" people, in 
that we fail to sympathize with our own kind whom we 
ignorantly brand as "oppressors." Ethical humanitarian- 
ism is to be found among all enlightened and not a few 
unenlightened people. It is always well to play fair, 
to hear the other side — and eminently well to heed Dr. 
Holmes' sympathy with the man who "naturally" sided 
with the higher race, other things being equal or doubt- 
ful or imknown ! 

2. Racial and National Sympathy. This form is evi- 
dently based on responsiveness of like to like. Make an 
American of English descent realize that the English are 
his nearest of kin among foreigners, and it will be very 
difficult to have him take sides with the Russians or the 
French as against the English. He may be alienated by 
the abrupt or haughty conduct of a given Englishman; 
but get him to discount this and appreciate his kinship 
to the mass of Englishmen, and you have his pro-Eng- 
lish sympathies well in hand. Hence I should like to 
insist on the coming inevitableness of the Northern 
white man's sympathy for his white brother of the South, 
without regard to the metaphysical ethicality of the 
Southern white man's cause. The Northerner may not 
understand the Southerner's apparent disregard of the 
negro's rights, but solaces himself with the thought, "Did 
I live South I guess I would act as the Southerners do." 
And indeed he would! Should this sympathy for the 
Southern whites make the Northerner oblivious to the 
black man's welfare? By no means, no more than it 
should so affect the Southern white man. Let the North- 
erner say to himself, "If my Southern brother is so situ- 
ated as to be compelled to choose between two evils; if 
he has to act in an ethically distorted way because of 

Race ftpmpati^ antt antagonfftn 321 

distorted conditions amid which he finds himself through 
no fault of his; if pei^e of my own kind are forced to 
act as if they disregarded the rights of man and the first 
principles of democracy — then we should all work to- 
gether so to remedy conditions as to help the black man 
without injuring the whites. But let me be careful about 
interfering, or let me avoid gratuitous advice and the 
assumption of superior sanctity on our part: for the 
Southerner is doubtless doing as well as he can under 
the circumstances, and !s quite likely to be as good a 
man as I am." How much more of a "Union" we 
should have if Northerners were uniformly responsive 
to their brethren at the South! How mudi happier we 
should all be did we realize that the South is humani- 
tarian at heart and that her apparent disregard of human 
rights is a subject to be patiently investigated, sympor 
thetically pondered and studied, and not simply inveighed 
against or made the recipient of unbrotherly sarcasm. It 
stirs a Southern white man's indignation to the depth of 
his heart to have the Northern brother "take sides" 
against his own race and nation, without a knowledge 
of the facts, and therefore without appreciation of the 
distressing complexity and difficulty of the actual situ- 

We may rest assured that, if we love not our brethren 
whom we ought to understand because of likeness and 
kinship, we stand a poor chance of loving intelligently 
an alien people whom we know practically nothing about 
and who cannot be socially incorporated into the national 
life. We shall be at least healthy in our national moral- 
ity if we are careful to give free play to our natiual 
responsiveness to those who are most like us. Kinship 
loads the dice of sympathy. The world would be worse 

322 Race flmtioDiKE? in tbt %onth 

did it not. It is better for love to be blind than to be 
either hypercritical or hypocritical. 

3. Associational Sympathy. We tend to sympathize 
with those that we **go with." Indeed, we are apt to 
become assimilated to our company and therefore to 
sympathize with our like. It is evident that responsive- 
ness and gregariousness underlie this variety of sym- 
pathy. Husband and wife, when not ill mated, tend to 
acquire the same tastes, to use the same sets of concepts, 
to adopt the same mental attitudes; in truth, they even 
tend to resemble each other physically. Children attend- 
ing the same school, members of the same church, part- 
ners in business, persons that belong to the same social 
set ; all these and other like social groups tend to acquire 
sympathy for one another. They respond and go with 
one another, and the responsiveness and gregariousness 
in turn bring about greater likeness. In such cases, s}rm- 
pathy gets very deep roots. 

4. Utilitarian Sympathy. We say that we sympa- 
thize with those that will help us or who are useful to 
us. But such a relationship, while adjuvant to sympathy 
and furnishing occasions for its exercise, is not really 
sympathetic. Labor imion men may think that they 
sympathize with the Southern viewpoint; but such sym- 
pathy is shallow unless it has beneath it some degree of 
native responsiveness and consciousness of kinship. One 
cannot depend on sympathy for Southern whites at the 
North when the supposed sentiment is due simply to a 
desire to retain the status quo at the South for economic 
reasons. However, given some degree of responsiveness 
and company sense, utilitarian considerations may power- 
fully aid in the development of sympathy. 

Race ^pmpatbp ann antagonism 323 


I. Responsiveness and Unresponsiveness. We are 
ordinarily drawn to our like, provided there is sufficient 
variety in the likeness; on the other hand, we are re- 
pelled by observation of unlikeness in others, especially 
when we esteem those othei^ to be lower than ourselves. 
Antagonism becomes amused contempt when the lower 
race is seen to be slavishly copying the higher and when 
the higher race believes that the lower prefers the higher 
to its own race. Responsiveness and antagonism are 
always more profound when based on connate likenesses 
or differences, respectively, of physical appearance and 
nervous structure. When the unlike lower race seems to 
"fit in" with the life of the higher, and spontaneously 
and sincerely takes up a station avowedly subordinate, 
then the consciousness of difference sometimes lends a 
certain charm to life and a certain dignity and kindly 
condescension to the behavior of the higher race. This 
point is well illustrated by the following occurrence 
which came under my observation in New York City: 
Two very intelligent young men, both of Northern birth 
and rearing, were chaffing each other. A said to B — 
"Whom would you prefer to have as a tentmate during 
a hunting expedition in the woods, a filthy, low-grade 
white immigrant or a filthy, low-grade negro?" B re- 
plied — "The negro." Then, after a pause, he added — 
"But I should prefer a dog to either of them." The 
n^ro's supposed "humble" subserviency seemed to fit 
in with B's comfortable sense of dominion, whereas he 
would have felt that the white immigrant was implicitly 
demanding some sort of social recognition, or ought to 
do so. There was no social problem at all with regard 

324 Slace fl)ttiioDO£|i in tbt %outh 

to the dog ! B could respond to the dog's overtures for 
friendly contact, because there was no implication of 
equality nor of competition. Like responds to like of 
the lowest degree of likeness, when the principle of the 
competitive struggle for existence and the survival of the 
fittest does not come into operation. Like responds to 
like of the higher grade even with competition and pro- 
fession of equality, when both parties acknowledge real 
or implicit or feasible equality. One white man of high 
grade may listen with equanimity to claims of equality 
from another white man of low grade, because he realizes 
that his humbler brother is biologically and psychologi- 
cally capable of becoming his social brother, or that the 
hiunbler brother's blood has in it the promise and po- 
tency of social equality. 

Why is it that so many intelligent people insist that 
educated and refined specimens of the negro race should 
have accorded them a kind of recognition ordinarily ac- 
corded to white men of the same degree of worth and 
culture? Do they fail to realize that social recognition 
has a biological basis? Do they not realize that even 
Jesus the idealist first ministered to His own people? 
Was He simply jesting when He spoke of the heathen 
as "dogs," to whom the children's bread was not to be 
given? Did he not accept racial distinctions in His 
social life? In becoming cosmopolitan do we cease to be 
national? Can we coerce ourselves into reversing the 
law of nature and grace that the natural man precedes 
the spiritual man ? We may discount our native respon- 
siveness and inhibit antagonistic conduct based on native 
antipathy ; but we had better be very careful not to inter- 
fere too much with even the jots and tittles of the laws 
of nature. They, too, must all be fulfilled. And he is 
least in the kingdom of Heaven that neglects and he 

Bace %pmpatlip ano antagonism 325 

greatest that does them ! Lincoln was true to nature and 
true to his own sincere conscience when he asserted vigor- 
ously that he was not as responsive to negroes as to 
whites, that he did not believe in anything that would 
lead to social equality between the races ; that he would 
side with the whites did he have to choose between the 
races. Whatever our attitude toward other races, it be- 
hooves us to be true to our fundamental instinct of re- 
sponsiveness and not attempt to substitute unhealthy sen- 
timentality of self-consciousness for the native childlike- 
ness of unforced sympathy toward our next of kin. The 
Southerner insists on racial solidarity, and guards all 
approaches toward it ; for he instinctively feels that sen- 
suality on the one hand and sentimentalism on the other 
are ever threatening race purity, the "conscience" for 
which is primarily based on habitual responsiveness of 
the biologically like toward one another. 

2. Gregariousness vs. Exdusiveness. Responding to 
our like, we naturally company with them. Feeling no 
coercive responsiveness to those racially unlike us, equally 
as naturally we do not "mix" with them socially. Inas- 
much as social mingling is intimately associated with all 
forms of social intercourse, whether economic, political, 
religious or cultural, our gregariousness tends to con- 
fine itself to those whom we feel that we or ours may 
actually or potentially (through descendants) mingle 
with. Our exclusion of those "not of the kin" is not 
unfeeling or cruel. Indeed, when exclusiveness asserts 
itself in a high-bred gentleman he experiences acute pity 
for individuals from whom he feels that he must cut 
himself off. He allows his native instinct of exclusive- 
ness to operate freely because he knows that it is best in 
the long run to make association with an individual of a 
lower race a matter of race rather than a matter of 

326 JSiatt fl)rtt)oliO£p in tbt ^utb 

individuality. To make exceptions would be to mistrust 
nature and science. The Southern gentleman does not 
wish to inflict pain ; but he does wish to be both natural 
and ethical ; and his ethicality, in this instance, must be 
based upon higher utilitarian considerations and not on 
sentimentality, which is sentiment cut off from its native 
roots of responsiveness and gregariousness belonging to 
a certain time and place. One asks, however, this seem- 
ingly pertinent question : "Why not graft on the natural 
stock the shoot of a higher humanitarianism ?" The 
answer is : "We are continually doing that, but only on 
the condition that the stock has its own natural roots!" 

3. Expressiveness vs. Indifference, A tap-root of so- 
cial expressiveness also is responsiveness. We love to 
talk with our like, to exchange views, on the basis of 
real or possible social equality. Unless our companions 
are sufficiently like us to rouse at least incipient admira- 
tion, even though it be only reflected qualities of our 
own that arouse our appreciation, our expressiveness be- 
comes condescending or uncomfortable. Physical dif- 
ferences, when too great, are very likely to coimteract 
any native tendency toward expressiveness. The South- 
erner likes the negro "in his place," because he does not 
feel called on to express himself to a quasi equal, and 
knows that the negro, however superior he may be, ex- 
pects only the kindly and courteous humanitarian treat- 
ment extended toward the worthy of his race, and does 
not expect the Southern white man to relax his assump- 
tion of superior status. 

Likeness, then, real or implied, is the healthy and 
natural basis for social sympathy that makes for the 
common cooperative life of democratic citizenship. It 
cannot be forced. Lincoln rightly says that we must 
take into account a universal attitude whether it be right 

dace 9pmpatl)p ano 9nta0onf)Km 327 

or wrong. Indeed, the question is not one of senti- 
mental morality, but rather one of adaptability, feasi- 
bility, congruousncss, utilitarianism, naturalness, inevi- 
tableness. External forms of sociality imply to the sincere 
mind certain bases of responsiveness, gregariousness and 
expressiveness. To make a show of treating a man as 
a potential equal when one feels that he isn't, or that 
he ought not to be treated differently from his race, 
which race one does not believe ought to be assimilated, 
is to invite hypocrisy in the higher race and dangerous 
social self-assertion in the lower race. 

If an inquirer should ask whether it is healthy and 
right for two diverse peoples to live on the same soil 
without becoming assimilated to one another and with- 
out the promise of ultimate equality, I should unhesi- 
tatit^ly say. No! The present situation at the South is 
abnormal, and ought not to be continued. Men ought 
to be so situated that no one asks questions regarding 
race. But given present conditions at the South, the 
Southerner's social attitude toward the lower race is 
safe and sane, because wise and necessary and natural. 
Every decent Southerner believes in the rights of man 
and wishes it were possible for the negro to get all the 
development and recognition that he deserves as an in- 
dividual or as a race. After all, however, the safety of 
society and the healthiness of its social life are of more 
intrinsic importance than the feelings of certain worthy 
negroes. Our social actions must always take into ac- 
count the tendencies toward which they lead. South- 
erners know from experience that it is unnatural, forced 
and meaningless to pretend that we should treat an in- 
dividual negro as if we knew nothing as to his racial 
extraction. We also know that the average low negro 
regards himself as potentially at least the equal of every 

328 JSiact SMboim^ in tbt ^utti 

cultured negro and entitled to all the recognition that 
any "nigger" gets. White antagonism at the South, ex- 
cept in the case of negro-haters, whose attitude is of no 
importance for our present purposes, is not toward the 
negro race or the negro individual, but rather toward the 
pretended recognition of individuality as apart from 
race, and toward the unnatural and dangerous policy that 
would lead the mass of the negroes to claim any sort of 
equality with the whites, except the equal right to life, 
liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Even these natu- 
ral rights are only relative. If the higher race is con- 
vinced that its right to happiness is endangered by grant- 
ing the negro the right to the pursuit of happiness, we 
may be sure, as in case of the "right" to intermarry, that 
the white man will interpret negro rights differently than 
in the case of the same rights as claimed by the whites. 
If a thousand white aliens wished to marry a thousand 
negroes on South Carolina soil, the South Carolinians 
would not allow it, even though the alien whites had not 
become naturalized citizens. The Congress of the United 
States did not hesitate to interfere with the Mormon 
elder's right to the pursuit of happiness through marry- 
ing several wives. The Southern white regards inter- 
racial marriages as inexpedient and immoral. The real 
question to be asked is not. How to get the Southern 
whites to treat the negroes as individuals and to give 
all the negroes their constitutional rights ; but rather this. 
How can we bring about a salutary change that will give 
the negro what he needs without interfering with the 
progress of the South in the long run, and without at- 
tempting to suppress perfectly natural, inevitable and, on 
the whole, useful reactions of the Southern whites toward 
the negroes? The failure to appreciate the meaning of 
the Southern white's attitude, his failure to explain his 

Race 9pmpatt)g ano antasonfsm 3^9 

own feelings properly, his tendency to allow people to 
interpret his conduct in an undemocratic and inhuman 
sense: these are some of the distressing aspects of the 
problem that have been largely overlooked even by close 
students of the subject. Admitting the general ration- 
ality of the account thus far given, what shall we say 
of Dr. Holmes' antithesis, tame or crush? 

The taming process is what the average Southern 
white means by the sensible "educating the negro for 
his place." To tame the negro is to make him give up 
all pretense of ever claiming to be the white man's equal 
in any respect. What shall we say to such a proposition ? 
Only one thing can be said by true Americans. There is 
no "place" in this country for a peasant class: it hurts 
the lower and the higher race alike, and particularly the 

What remains ? A struggle and the ultimate crushing 
of the negro through violence or through the slow de- 
cadence of a race that has lost all hope and self-respect? 
True Americans will assuredly demur to such a solution 
as this. We do believe in the rights of man; in the 
preciousness of every human life; in the essential soli- 
darity of the human race ; in the fair fight and the square 
deal. Let Americans generally show their sympathy for 
their fellow Americans of the dominant race in the South 
by helping them to cast off in some way a fearful incubus, 
and not waste time, treasure and force in attempting to 
secure for the negroes supposed rights and blessings that 
the Southern whites will not allow the negroes to have 
in a "white man's country." Let us assume that the 
Southern whites know something of democracy, but must 
act in the interest of the safety and moral health of so- 
ciety in order that American principles may remain alive 
long enough to grow and fruit. In fine, let us study this 

330 iSiMt fl)ttt)oliosp fn tt)e ^utb 

question on the assumption that the solution must be such 
as to injure the dominant race in no serious way, and 
on the further assumption that the attitude of the better 
Southern whites toward the negro must not be inter- 
fered with unless these men of race conscience are shown 
that their views are unnatural and wrong, that their 
fears are foolish, that the negro can become a full-fledged 
citizen without danger to the South, and so on. But, 
be assured, no "snap judgment" of the doctrinaire or the 
politician or the philanthropist can settle these questions 
offhand. Patient, organized, long-continued research 
alone will bring out truth that will command the atten- 
tion of all the people, North and South. 

If our popular psychological account is right in hold- 
ing that Southern white attitude toward the negroes 
cannot be naturally and fully consistent with higher eth- 
ical insight as long as the races are occupants of a com- 
mon soil, because natural amalgamation is execrable and 
colonization is impracticable, what shall we do? We 
should at least make sure that colonization is imprac- 
ticable, or that there is no other solution possible, before 
we acquiesce in present conditions of unhealthy moral 
strain and retarded progress. 

F. Freedom Through the Truth. 



(Suggested by varioui discussioni held at conferences with 
leading Mississippi sdioolmen in the summer of 1913.) 


Born within sight of Southern rice fields, educated 
wholly in his native state, inheriting from his English 
blood respect for facts and reverence for tradition, and 
from his French blood quickness and versatility of sym- 
pathy and intuition, the Student began as a boy of nine 
to puzzle over the Southern interracial situation. The 
"academy" where he took his high school course had 
been founded by aristocratic indigo planters in the middle 
of the eighteenth century. The state university where 
he worked up from sophomore to professor was a center 
of purest Southemism. Yet the Student's education 
knew nothing of sectional bitterness. His father, a Con- 
federate veteran, used to speak of secession as a right- 
eous mistake, of state rights as a get^raphical incident 
and yet an eternal principle, of slavery as an economic 
and ethical blunder that under Providence retarded the 
development of the South in order that she might become 
the instrument of ultimate spiritual conservation of the 

Brought up during reconstruction times, our Student, 
as a "red-shirt boy," took part in two political processions 

332 JMtt fl)ttt)oliO£p in tbt 9^tttb 

in honor of Wade Hampton. He remembers hearing his 
father say on election day of 1876: "I have told John 
(the mulatto butler) that he must vote for Hampton if 
he wishes to keep his place ;" and he will never forget his 
father's look of sadness and discomfort as this remark 
was made. The Student understood his father's feelings 
later, when he himself was obliged, on occasion, to chas- 
tise "impudent" negroes that disputed the sidewalk with 
him or made insulting remarks about the white people. 
But he used to wonder vaguely why white Republicans 
were regarded as "scalawags" without much hope of 
redemption in this world or the next, and why "demo- 
cratic negroes" were always in danger of being **beaten- 
up" by the rest of the negroes. 

In his county, during the eighties, whites and negroes 
used to "divide up" the county offices. The negroes got 
the unimportant offices, like that of school commissioner ! 
And the Student has been able to watch the gradual 
elimination of the negro from politics ; the loss of sym- 
pathy between the races ; the hardening of the hearts of 
the Southern whites as certain atrocious crimes began to 
show themselves among the negroes; the rise of the 
"common people" of the South, coincident with the fall 
of the negro ; the growing sense of white solidarity along 
with the formation of political factions in each Southern 
state ; transient breakings away from "the Democracy," 
and subsequent return to the two-partitioned Democratic 
fold with its guarantee of political independence through 
the white primary, etc., etc. 

The Student can never forget the political rendering 
of a popular religious ditty : "Hold the fort for Hamp- 
ton's coming !" And yet he lived to see that same Hamp- 
ton turned out of the United States Senate by a new 
political "savior" — this time of the "common (white) 

Ci>e Ji3eeo of a iSeto jFieetiom 333 

people." White supremacy had become strong enough 
to dare to divide; but so completely coherent had become 
the racial orthodoxy of the South that not even the bitter 
factional fights among the whites were able permanently 
to divide the Democratic party. In the midst of all these 
movements one thing has remained constant: the pas- 
sionate dogma of white supremacy. 

I need not go into details of the Student's personal 
history. His six years' sojourn on the Pacific Coast 
allowed him to look at another set of interracial rela- 
tions. He was also able to see what the negro problem 
meant ii] the great cities of the North. 

From the beginning of his graduate university work 
our Student had concentrated his interest and attention 
on the psychology of character, and especially the psy- 
chology of public opinion and social movements. Hence 
it is not surprising that his special studies and his con- 
tact with racial prcAIems on both sides of the continent 
should conspire with a conscience somewhat sensitive to 
Christian-democratic principles to awaken in him a 
whole-souled desire to do what he could to throw light 
on a problem that was a constant challenge to men of 
good will everywhere, and which was evidently inter- 
fering with the free development of his beloved South. 
Perhaps the Student was stupid in thinking that cool 
science and ethical fervor could work together success- 
fully in one human heart I 

When the Student was offered an important post in a 
Southern state university, under conditions that showed 
a spontaneous and heartily sympathetic demand for his 
services on the part of the teadiers of the state, he thou^t 
that a "call" had come to him. And his resc^ution to 
heed the summons was rendered firmer by the advice of 
an American psychologist and educator of international 

334 Bate SMbototv in tbt ^utb 

standing. As soon as he had settled in his new place he 
began the systematic study of the negro question, and 
especially an investigation of the psychology of so-called 
race prejudice. He organized a graduate seminar for 
the study of the negro question, collected data from all 
quarters, read widely, and soon had the satisfaction of 
seeing one of his students devote himself to the same 
study and publish his doctor's thesis on negro traits 
under the auspices of two of America's greatest univer- 

One morning, immediately upon his return from mis- 
sionary educational work in his adopted state, after a 
twenty-mile trip over a wretched road, he was almost 
overwhelmed with surprise and indignation to find that 
the board of trustees of the university, by a bare ma- 
jority vote of little more than a quorum of the board, 
had turned his department out of the university. The 
state teachers' association, by a unanimous standing vote, 
and the entire student body of the university, through a 
practically unanimous petition, requested the board to 
restore the department to the university. Soon tele- 
grams, letters, interviews and so on so focused public 
opinion that the board, four weeks after dropping the 
department of education from the university, by a unani- 
mous vote, with an almost full board, reinstated the de- 
partment. The ostensible meaning of the board's first 
action was the desire for "economy"; but people gen- 
erally thought that the board's elimination of the depart- 
ment was an attempt to get rid of a student of the negro 
problem who insisted on holding fast to democratic 
Christian principles as applicable to all men. Now, our 
Student had always been entirely "orthodox" in his racial 
stand as to "social" and "political" equality. He had 
always stood up for "white supremacy." He had always 

Cl>e lOeeD of a Beta) jrieebom 335 

insisted that the Southern people were behaving as ethi- 
cally under the circumstances as any other people would 
have done. He had blamed the situation rather than his 
people. He had insisted on holding open no illusory 
"doors of hope" to the negro. But he had nevertheless 
maintained, although feeling and professing great sym- 
pathy even for extremist views, that the Southern people 
should not be complacently satisfied with holding another 
people in spiritual subjection for all time. Hence he had 
advocated careful systematic investigation of the prob- 
lem, in order that the Southern people and the nation 
should be able to look the situation squarely in the face 
and take appropriate action. Personally he could see no 
solution of the problem except ultimate colonization of 
the negro by means of a carefully prepared plan that 
would not disrupt economic conditions and would play 
fair with the negroes. 

Not a single member of the university board had ade- 
quate first-hand knowledge of the Student's views and 
work ; if certain ones had wished to punish the Student 
they had acted "on suspicion." True, there was need of 
economy at the university ; nor would one have the right 
to say that some of the "economists" did primarily act 
on account of the student's supposed views on the negro 
question; but it is an assured fact that some of them 
avowed their feelings of suspicion toward the Student, 
and were willing to restore him'to his place only because 
his recall was demanded by the teachers of the state, the 
students of the university, and the public opinion that 
was powerfully influenced by the united teachers and 

The Student, believing that the people of his state had 
endorsed his work, continued his study of the negro 
question, and continued to express his views modestly 

336 Uace SMbotmi^ in tbt ^utli 

and frankly. Although he had opportunities to go 
North, he decided to remain South and continue the work 
that was so close to his conscience. During several years 
ensuing he could at times see some of his friends become 
cold and suspicious ; he was bitterly arraigned by a promi- 
nent newspaper; his friends' timidity "prevented" re- 
ports of some of his negro question speeches from being 
reported in the newspapers lest such reports might "in- 
jure" him; the university authorities confessed that his 
race question work was embarrassing to the university. 
But time will do its perfect work. Very gradually, first 
the leading schoolmen of the state and then the people 
generally came to see that our student was the kind of 
"friend" that the South needed, because his "defense" 
of the South was not special pleading, and was free from 
fire-eating, braggadocio, arrogance, side-stepping, in- 
volved sophistry, appeals to the gallery, and the like. 
Some of the leading "extremists" (including the pictur- 
esque and magnetic Vardaman) offered to help the Stu- 
dent with his work when he afterward corresponded with 
some of them from New York City. 

The Student has had many vicissitudes of fortune. 
An acciunulation of shocks and crises endangered his 
nervous stability during several years. Although several 
prominent and influential men attempted to get him the 
opportunity to concentrate his attention on the problem 
he had at heart, but had failed in their efforts ; although 
he found apathy or opposition to the study of the ques- 
tion — both North and South; although he still suf- 
fers at times from the old canard that had originally 
operated against him; although he has seen even men 
of limited intelligence and rather mediocre consecration 
preferred before him and gain recognition for minor 
services in behalf of the South : nevertheless, his faith 

Cbe Beet of a JlSetai JFteettom 337 

in his people's fairness and justice and loving kindness 
and open-mindedness — ^yea, faith even in the most nar- 
row-minded and ignorant of them — has grown year by 
year. At heart these Southern people are tolerant and 
charitable, frank and sincere. 

Without a talent for attracting financial support for 
his own investigational efforts, — in the face of a preju- 
dice toward the study of race-prejudice, — in spite of the 
dangerous optimism that wants to "wait" and let things 
drift, — the Student dares to hope that the South her- 
self, poor as she is, and suffering from anxiety and un- 
rest with regard to the race problem, will help the Stu- 
dent and his friends to organize the investigation of this 
imminent question. Even now the educational leaders 
of the state are arranging to utilize over half of the Stu- 
dent's time next year, making him a sort of university 
extension professor-at-large for the state. And he has 
already been able to start a little fund that may prove to 
be the nucleus of an opportunity for a Southern study of 
Southern problems. 

If the Student were asked whether he thought that the 
investigation of the negro problem should be merely a 
Southern venture, he would reply most decidedly in the 
negative. Southern sensitiveness, which has a real rea- 
son for being, looks askance toward studies of this prob- 
lem that are not vouched for by their own trusted lead- 
ers ; but to accuse the South of obscurantism and bour- 
bonism that she could dispense with is unfair and unkind. 
Indeed, the Student has yet to find a single man in the 
South, even among professional politicians, that did not 
sooner or later respond to his appeal in behalf of the 
dignity of the hiunan soul. Some extremists pretend at 
times that the immeasurable worth of a negro's soul is 
an idea not to be taken seriously; but even these, espe- 
cially when they can be got to take their alleged Christian 

33S SUce fl)ttt)olioip in tbt ^outb 

principles seriously, are compelled to admit that the negro 
is a true man and has the rights that a real man has, 
even though under present circumstances, and probably 
as long as the races are together in the same territory, 
the negroes must remain completely subordinated in the 
interests of public peace and the proper pride of race. 

Thus the Student is more than hopeful that his South- 
em compatriots will welcome and support all well- 
directed efforts to solve the race problem, and in his own 
person has been able to prove that free speech as well 
as independent thought is possible at the South. So 
vitally necessary is the preservation of racial orthodoxy 
in the South that racial heretics — ^and all those who insist 
that negroes must be treated as indiznduals rather than 
members of a race are racial heretics — should not expect 
to enjoy their life in the South. Does this mean that 
Southerners do not believe in the individual worth of 
the hiunan soul? I have just insisted that they assuredly 
have such a belief. But they regard their racial treat- 
ment of negroes as racial representatives rather than as 
free men simply as the less of two evils. They are per- 
fectly willing that negro individuals should be fully 
recognized in accordance with their character — some- 
where else than on our American territory. And they 
rejoice that the Christian negro can sustain his spirits by 
believing that God sees his real worth and is no respecter 
of persons. For they know, nevertheless, that the divine 
care for each human soul does not conflict with the 
equally divine course of human history with its Chosen 
People lording it over the lesser tribes without the law. 

Clie JOeeb of a jseip Jfteeoom 


Since our Southern people are normal Americans, and 
perhaps the truest American stock, conserving much that 
the country needs, can we say at the South, "It is well 
with our souls"? No! The South is not free. Our 
Student fights for his freedom. 

I need say little with regard to negro unfreedom. Bad 
as it is that these "freedmen" (not freemen) should 
be deprived of political rights; bad as it is that they 
should have to bear the stigma of imputed inferiority 
just because of the accident of race ; bad as it is that they 
can have no rational hope of complete citizenship in the 
United States of America unless public opinion under- 
goes a change of which I am able to see no "primitive 
streak" ; far worse is it that the white people of the South 
are not free to develop fully. 

After all, much of our sympathy for the negro is 
wasted. The average "darkey" is perfectly content with 
being an inferior and with recognizing the overlordship 
of the whites if people will let him alone and give him 
a fair share of protection against the sharks among the 
whites. The small percentage of high-grade negroes 
and mulattoes that really care for full spiritual freedom, 
which, of course, includes all the rights of citizenship, 
can leave the country if they want to, and few will cry 
about it. Southerners will admire their pluck, wish them 
well, and help them generously. The masses of the ne- 
groes could probably be educated to make a tolerably 
good peasantry. If the mulattoes would emigrate or 
breed back into the ranks of the negroes, the unthinking, 
careless, haj^-go-lucky average negro would get along 
with the whites first rate, provided some machinery be 
found to supervise them carefully in the interests of law 

340 Eace SMboltOff in tbt %Ottib 

and order, and protect them in their reasonable rights as 
an inferior race living under tutelage. 

If vast masses of white people in Europe have lived 
for centuries the life of a contented peasantry; if the 
forces of nature operate in their usual ways and ulti- 
mately bring down the rate of negro population so that 
the "problem" becomes easier as the years go by; then 
there is no reason why we should weep over the situa- 
tion. For the upper tenth of the negroes can go where 
they may obtain true freedom, and the nine-tenths do 
not need it and do not know what to do with it. True 
it is that all good men would prefer to have all the 
American negroes lifted up and fully developed. But 
even if nine million negroes, plus some more millions of 
the future, should fail to rise, there will be left enough 
negroes on earth to make a good experiment in African 
eugenics. The excellent racial traits attributed to negro 
blood by some of the friends of the child races still have 
a fair chance in Africa, and perhaps elsewhere, if the 
friends of humanity will be a little foresighted with re- 
gard to them and prevent certain aspects of white civiliza- 
tion from ruining them. In other words, the imfreedom 
of the negroes, though tragic enough when viewed in 
the light of the higher ethics, does not necessarily mean 
the failure of the negro race as such. 

On the other hand, how is it with the white man? 
Many whites seem to be fully satisfied with negro peas- 
ant labor, in spite of evidence that white labor is superior, 
and that it is the glory of free America that her generous 
life brings out the real man in the European peasant, thus 
proving the superiority of a peasantless regime. Some 
go so far as to satisfy themselves with the thought that 
the South need not, with negro labor, remain hopelessly 
behind the rest of the country, but will lag — well, just 

Cbe Ji3ee& of a $Sltm jfteeDom 341 

moderately ! Does the believer in negro labor, however, 
pretend that the South would not be better off economi- 
cally if negroes were uhimately displaced by a higher peo- 
ple ? Does anyone suppose that the present economic life 
of a Yazoo-Mississippi Delta is going to be the typical 
industrial life of the South? And is the South to trust 
her hopes of a high economic development to the absurd 
declaration, long ago worn out, that "Cotton is king"? 
Even the boll-weevil has done its little best to teach the 
South some sense in this regard! With white labor in 
the cotton mills, in spite of its greater expensiveness and 
assertiveness, how can it be said that the South of the 
future can hope for good things from n^ro labor? 
Science and practical sanitation and hygiene, along with 
everyday experience, have destroyed utterly the old no- 
tion that the "white man can't stand the hot sun." As 
a matter of fact, he is standing it, and frequently much 
better than the negro does. Tropical medicine has taught 
us that there is great hope of a future of the white race 
even in the tropics — and the South is by no means a 
part of the tropics. 

Every keen observer knows that agricultural, domestic 
and other forms of efficiency are vitiated by the ways and 
work of the negro. So much is this the case that in one 
Southern town — and there are many like it — white ladies 
no longer speak apologetically because of having to do 
their own domestic drudgery. The educated negro do- 
mestics and other laborers "go North," or set up for 
themselves — white farms and homes get little benefit 
from them. Surely one must expect that trained n^roes 
will not submit to the double yoke of "labor" and 
"race" if they can find some way of escaping the one or 
the other. And the presence of white student waiters 
at a number of Southern colleges indicates that the whites 

342 laace S>ttboiios9 in tbt %otttb 

are beginning to shake off the shackles of dependence 
on irresponsible labor and getting rid of absurd lack of 
respect for "menial" work in itself. Nevertheless the 
coming industrial independence of the white man is very 
slow in developing. In some localities, because of the 
difficulties of keeping white immigrants down South in 
the midst of a negro population, there may be relapse 
toward dependence on the negro. The very existence 
of a lazy, shiftless, incompetent, irresponsible mass of 
laborers that require the closest supervision all the time 
necessarily lowers the economic energy and standards 
of the white people. Many a white man excuses his easy, 
sauntering way of transacting business by speaking of 
the ridiculous rush and hurry-scurry of the North. But 
much of our Southern lassitude is caught from the ways 
of the negro rather than the wiles of the hookworm. I 
speak somewhat dogmatically ; but I think that investiga- 
tion will show that the regions of the South with sparse 
negro populations are as a rule more energetic than are 
those with a much larger percentage of negroes, other 
things being equal. At any rate, when a man says to him- 
self, "One cannot expect a negro servant to do more 
than one-third of what is easily done by a Chinese," he 
will find himself using a standard of efficiency below his 
best. In a thousand ways negro economic inefficiency 
retards the development of the South. And this constant 
doing of less than our best, this easy-going lack of re- 
gard for time, this willingness to put up with inefficient 
service and to overlook small pilferings because one "ex- 
pects that from a negro" — what is all this but an insidious 
form of psychological economic unfreedom? 

We are no better off in politics— rather worse. The 
existence of a "Solid South" is a form of political slav- 
ery for the South itself. Southerners say — ^and rightly 

Cte il3eeo of a iOettt jTteeDom 343 

— We dare not divide. But when supposedly free men 
say that they dare not act politically as they want to; 
when they suffer even socially if they do not vote the 
Democratic ticket ; when they are driven to vote for men 
rather than measures; when discussion of national issues 
on the stump often sounds like a solemn and tedious 
joke ; when political thinking has nothing to stimulate it, 
because Southerners must think alike on the main issues 
— what have we but political unfreedom? Last fall I 
heard dozens of men say that they would like to have an 
opportunity to vote for Roosevelt, but that it "wouldn't 
do" ; some of us who had no yearning desire to vote for 
the Colonel felt nevertheless a perverse sensation of pro- 
test because we were "expected to" vote for Wilson or 
not at all. While Wilson was our choice, we did not 
want to be obliged to vote for him. Is such a feeling 
unreasonable ? 

Naturally, Southerners are independent in politics. 
Like other people who live in warm climates, they would 
ordinarily tend to split into small groups rather than to 
vote in solid ranks. But who would suppose that South- 
erners had any sense of political independence? Shall 
Southern children be brought up to believe that inde- 
pendence in voting is disloyalty, if not treason? Such 
is the lesson of things as they are. Why should I have 
to teach my children that at the South the terms white, 
Democratic, gentleman and Christian meant pretty nearly 
the same thing in popular parlance? Remember, I am 
not railing at the South. I share all the limitations of 
her citizens in my own conduct. I blame a wretchedly 
anomalous situation, and not our sane, broadly demo- 
cratic and Christian people. 

Even in religion does the black blight of unfreedom 
appear. To say nothing about the existence of denomi- 

344 Bate fl)tti)0D0£p in tbt %outb 

nations with "South'' or '^Southern'' tacked onto them, 
and the straying apart of religionists that should be 
growing together in the general trend toward Christian 
unity, how absurd it is that even those whites who wish 
to help the negroes in their religious life are likely to 
do more harm than good in their efforts. Who can 
blame a negro for not desiring the help of a people who 
allow so much ''arrogant indifference toward the feel- 
ings, to say nothing of the rights, of human beings"? 
Let a preacher in a Southern pulpit begin to plead for 
the negroes, and he at once endangers his popularity if 
not his support. Preachers do thus plead, on occasion, 
and are generously called "courageous'* by some of their 
friends. Why should a minister of the church be "cour- 
ageous" when he reminds his parishoners of the funda- 
mental principle of Christianity, the priceless value of 
every human soul?- And yet I should personally advise 
nine out of ten clergymen to leave this negro question 
severely alone. If he wants to correct injustice or arro- 
gance or cruelty, let him work with the individual. Yet 
I know that I am advising a man to act slavishly — in the 
interest of peace and because he cannot hope to do good 
by his exhortations unless he has remarkable tact or 
wonderful powers of mind and heart. If a special stu- 
dent of the negfro question must submit to being called 
"brave" because he gently insinuates that, according to 
Christianity, negroes have immortal souls and that Christ 
died for those souls, although he has prefaced his re- 
marks with a stiff statement of his adhesion to "South- 
ern" principles, is it surprising that the people should 
want their ministers to keep clear of a subject which 
they ordinarily have not studied? On the other hand, 
I have heard esteemed and godly ministers make heart- 
less remarks about negroes, remarks so cruelly harsh and 

Clie jQeen of a Bete JFceeDom 345 

unsympathetic that they aroused my indignation that 
alleged amhassadors of the Most High should speak so 
slightingly of any of God's children. 

It is needless to insist that healthy theological thinking 
is difficult in a land which finds itself compelled to use 
thought fashions of a bygone age. In my judgment, the 
theological conservatism of the South has been in many 
respects a good thing for the country, and has acted as a 
sort of national religious balance wheel ; but it is humili- 
ating to listen to much of the childish ignorance and 
rabid narrowness that one still hears in the South after 
it has long departed from other parts of the country. 
When men must use certain thought molds in politics, 
and must fear the effects of disturbing a bristling racial 
orthodoxy, it is natural that they should not be free in 
religion. The amount of underground "heresy" in the 
South is remarkable. I find it in numbers of young 
collegians especially, even in those coming from denomi- 
national institutions. These young folk have got into 
the habit of weighing the social and political results of 
differing from the common opinion : the result is that 
they suppress doubts that ought to be aired and sunned. 
I speak not as a so-called "liberal" Christian, but as one 
to whom the Nicene Creed is still the best expression of 
the highest Christian theology, making due allowance 
for historical differences in modes of speech. Again I 
am not blaming the Southerners — my people — but an un- 
toward situation. 

Shall I go on? What is the use? We need a new 
freedom in the South. We need freedom to vote as we 
please without accusation of disloyalty. We need free- 
dom to work as we please, even though our work be 
"nigger's" work, without being in danger of losing caste; 
we need to discuss religion and churches as we please. 

346 Bate fl)tti)oDO£p in tbt %outb 

even to the extent of expressing our preference for 
"Northern" rather than "Southern" Presbyterian, Bap- 
tist or Methodist forms of belief or worship or govern- 
ment. We even need freedom to use our own enlight- 
ened judgment as to how we treat our racial inferiors 
without being accused of preaching or practicing "social 
equality." We need freedom to teach the truth without 
fear or favor in our universities, without having our 
official heads endangered because some people are dis- 
pleased with a second-hand accotmt of our belief in the 
value of American principles and the reality of the 
Christian faith in its application to all men. 

Now, for myself I can say that I do not value very 
highly the subjective subtleties of German higher criti- 
cism; that I am a Democrat in politics from reasoned 
preference; that I prefer running no risk of displeasing 
white extremists in racial matters just in order to make 
a few superior negroes feel the dignity of their souls 
a little more acutely; that I conform to our Southern 
traditions and manners because I like many of them and 
believe that most of them are the best for the present 
situation. But I for one want freedom — relief from 
the "situation" itself. The Southern people are good 
enough for me. The situation is atrocious in that it 
prevents the Southern people from developing freely as 
they would like to and deserve to. 

But the worst has not been told. The veriest slavery 
of the spirit is to be found in the deep-seated anxiety 
of the South. Southerners are afraid for the safety of 
their wives and daughters and sisters; Southern parents 
are afraid for the purity of their boys; Southern publi- 
cists are afraid that a time will come when large numbers 
of negroes will try to vote, and thus precipitate race 
war. Southern religionists are afraid that our youth 

Cbe Bees of a JiSetai iTteeDom 347 

will grow up to despise large numbers of their fellow- 
men. Southern business men are afraid that agitation 
of the negro question will interfere with business or 
demoralize the labor market. Southern officials Jire 
afraid of race riots, lynchings, savage atrocities paying 
not only for negro fiendishness but also for the anxiety 
caused by fear of what might be. 

Then, too, there is the whole wretched brood of hates. 
The humble white hates his negro competitor. The 
white woman hates a race that is a constant temptation 
to the lustful passions of white men. The uneducated 
white hates the negro "upstart" that struts around with 
an "education" not vouchsafed to the white man's chil- 
dren. And so on. 

Yes, we Southerners need a freedom from suspicion, 
fear, anxiety, doubt, unrest, hate, contempt, disgust, and 
all the rest of the race-feeling-begotten brood of viperous 
emotions. If I speak strongly it is not because of either 
lack of self-control or because of fondness for rhetoric. 
To me Christianity and democracy are eternal realities. 
Liberty, equality and fraternity are still of the substance 
of my aspirations. I want my own people to have the 
chance to show the world their really splendid qualities 
of head and hand and heart. At present they are so 
often tempted above that they are able, and God's grace 
seems hardly sufficient for them ! 

This is the lesson of our student's history and this the 
lesson of the papers collected in this book : Since our 
democracy and our Christianity are fettered in their 
exercise on accoimt of an abnormal and unnatural situa- 
tion, we of the South, at least those of us who see the 
situation clearly and see it whole, are asking the help 
. of science, of study, research, investigation — call it what 

348 Bate fl)tt|)oDO£p in tbt %outb 

you will. We have not solved and are not solving our 
problem. Whoever you are that love mankind and 
your fellow citizens of the South, come over and help 
us, not with bayonets turned in our favor rather than 
against us; not merely with your money to educate the 
head and hand without helping the situation that ener- 
vates the heart! — but come with the agencies of truth, 
with that scientific method which is transforming the 
earth; with the scientific temper that keeps the brain 
clear of clouds; with scientific facts that no one can 
honestly doubt. And when you come or send let your 
coming or your sending be in the spirit of brotherly sym- 
pathy toward your fellow Americans. Do not treat 
Southerners as foreigners or as curious psychological 

We Americans need freedom from corporation domi- 
nance; we need freedom from the professional politics 
that binds all grafters together in a "party" without a 
name ; we need freedom from unsettled and cumbersome 
financial systems or lack of systems! And so on. But 
let us never forget that the greatest slavery is that of 
fear of the future and fear of the fullest and freest dis- 
cussion of all questions whatsoever. The worst slavery 
is spiritual unfreedom. 

Give this naturally open-hearted, genial, loving, gener- 
ous, free-spirited South of ours freedom to be her own 
true self. Thus should the South call on generous men 
of this country and elsewhere. But we can, perhaps, 
best have our plea listened to if we begin the effort of 
unraveling our own difficulties for ourselves. True, the 
Pacific Coast begins to understand us ; and the Northern 
cities are catching a glimpse of a race problem at their 
doors. And we should gladly welcome all honest, sym- 

Ctie J^eeo of a Beta jFteeOom 349 

pathetic help that comes to us. Let us, however, begin 
the work of understanding our own situation for our- 
selves; and we may be sure that we shall not lack the 
cooperation of our fellow Americans and of the civilized 
world in general. 



(Prepared for graduate seminar in the University of Missis- 

Coulanges^ "The Ancient 
Social state controls ideas. 
From Ethnic religion 
came law and institu- 
tionSy PP* II stnd 12. 

The past never completely 
dies for man. Much time 
needed even to modify be- 
lief, 13. 

Hearth-fire and Divine 
Dead, 30, 32, 35f. Do- 
mestic religion of blood- 
kin, 42. Religion propa- 
gated only by generation, 
45. Marriage the most 
sacred institution, 53, 55, 

Religion, family, property, 
72, 89, 105. Ancestors — 
family — posterity. 

Southern States, U. S, A. 

All "equalities" ultimately 
based on social equality, 
actual or potential. South- 
em "religion" is race soli- 
darity and prestige. 

Idealized past ever present 
to the South. The over- 
throw of "Reconstruc- 
tion" strengthened faith 
in past. 

Southern home and South- 
em heroes. States' 
Rights, patriarchal so- 
ciety, faith of fathers. 
"This is a White man's 
Country." Sanctity of 
home. Rural life. 

"This is a White Man's 
Country." South is solid. 
Declines to break with 


ancfent Borne anQ t|)e 9outft 


Family did not recdve its 
laws from the city, iii. 

The alien cannot receive the 
cult, 124. 

Piety the all inclusive virtue, 
125, 129b. 

The gens is an enlarged fam- 
ily, etc., 136, I40f., 144. 

Talcing nourishment pre- 
pared on an altar brings 
about indissoluble bond 
between co-partakers, 157. 

We cannot modify belief at 
will. It tells us to obey 
and we obey, 174. 

Rel^on r^ulates every act 
of life, 209, 320f. 

Religion binds all things to- 
gether, 222-231. 

He who has no family wor- 
ship can have no national 
worship, 247. 

Law bom of religion, not of 
justice. DiflEerent re- 
ligion, different law, 24. 

If a citizen renounced his 
religion, he renounced his 
rights before the law, 24. 
Special tribunal for alien. 

Essence of Southern 
"States* Rights." 

"You weren't bom and 
raised in the South." 

All inclusive race-conscious- 

"We, the people of the 
United States," means en- 
larged "home folks." 

A home-meal is racially 
sacramental and typical of 
all equalities. Other meals 
so by association. 

Belief in race is coercive 
because fundamentally 

Race feeling pervades all 
life. The "Solid South" 
is religious dogma. Our 
fathers not theirs, our 
government not theirs. 
Nationality ultimate- 
ly based on kinship. 

Only citizens equal before 
the law. Others may be 
protected by the law, es- 
pecially when patrons 
stand sponsor for them. 

Rights — including free 
speech — only for the ad- 
herents of Southern or- 
thodoxy. Heretics dan- 

352 Eace fl)tti)oDosp in tbt %outb 

257-261. Tomb of slave 
sacred; not so tomb of 
foreigners. Beyond local 
bounds other gods 
reigned, 258ff . 

Action right whenever use- 
ful to country, 263-5. 

Religion founded and gov- 
erned society and gave 
man his character, 281, 

Religion not due to political 
machinations of the aris- 
tocracy, who were themr 
selves embarrassed by 
their religion, 283 f. 

The orator began his speech 
with invocations to the 
gods and heroes, 290. 

On questions touching re- 
ligion a man must take 
sides or be exiled. Toler- 
ance unpatriotic, 293, 295. 

A man had no chance to 
change his beliefs, 296. 

Ancient Religion is State 
plus Church, 299. 

Lower classes counted for 
nothing, 300. 

Clients have no religion be- 

gerous to society. Ku 
Klux, Lynch Law, etc. 
Affection for "old-timie" 
negroes. Hatred for 
Northern doctrinaire phil- 
anthropists. "Mason and 
Dixon's Line." 

"Preservation of our insti- 
tutions." ("White Su- 

"Never forget, my child, 
that you are a Southern- 

For "Religion" read "race- 

" r a c e- 


"Lee, Jackson, Davis," et al., 
put orator en rapport with 

Side with your color, or else 
you are endangering 
"white supremacy." 

"Go with us or from us." 

"There is only one 

party." "White Suprcm- 

Bishop Polk as general and 

General Capers as Bishop 

are types. 
"Only a nigger." (All 

classes of whites drawing 

Whites have little respect 

ancient Borne anli tt>e 9out6 


cause not of the kin, 303- 

Laws in behalf of plebeians 

not respected, because not 

religious, not of the kin, 

Touch of plebeians was 

contaminating, 3i2f. 
Without patrons, no justice 

for clients; no recourse 

against patridans, 345. 

Plebeians held back by a 
habit of respect. No lead- 
ers, 361. 

Plebeians gained religion of 
their own and self-re- 
spect. Equality followed, 

Man of noble family mar- 
ries with plebeians. 

"Marriage confounds the 
races," 370, 

Thought of the plebeians 
just before they brought 
the patricians to terms: 
"Where we find liberty 
there our country is. 
Rome to us is nothing." 

Plebeian and Patrician had 
apparently nothing in 
common. Could not live 
together; could not live 

for negro's "imitations" of 
Treatment of the 15th 

Touch of "free ni^er," es- 
pecially contaminating. 

So to a great extent in 
Southern trials. N^ro 
must be vouched for by 

So negroes in the South. 
This has warded off ca- 

South inclined to ridicule 
negro pride of race and 
assumption of self-re- 
spect "Keep your place, 
and diHi't put on airs. Be 
humble." Otherwise 
equality creeps in , 

Senator Tillman avers that 
this will occur if anti- 
amalgamation laws are re- 

Some few of the negroes so 
express themselves. Oth- 
ers, who feel thus, keep 
their feelings to them- 

Is this what smne astute 
friends of the nc^ro hope 
for? Ultimate amalgama- 

354 Bate fl)tt|)oDosp in tbt %outb 

apart. Made a treaty, 

Patricians were half-con- 
quered when their prerog- 
atives as a class ceased 
to be a matter of faith. 
Equality and union fol- 
lowed. Law made by all 
was applied to all, 400- 


Plebeians said: ''Withdraw 
your law against inter- 
marriage. You arc free 
to choose whom you will." 
The law was withdrawn. 
Intermarriage follows. — 

(i) Discounting of caste. 
(2) Repeal of law. (3) 
Intermarriage, 404 ff. 

As soon as equality was 
conquered in private life, 
the great obstacle was 
overcome, and political 
equality naturally fol- 
lowed, 407, 409. 

New social state caused 
change in law. Social 
equality naturally associ- 
ated with political equal- 
ity, 416, 418, 423. 

Suffrage for all tends to 
suppress faith in the sa- 
cred blood, 426, 429. 

After the hereditary religion 
of blood had been de- 
stroyed, only distinction 
of wealth remained, 431. 

Will all this not come to 
pass in the South if the 
"Caste of the Kin" and 
its faith are undermined? 
The "Color Line" is a 
racial Rubicon. 

Occasional de facto inter- 
marriages in many a 
Southern community 
point to at least a decided 
possibility in this direc- 
tion. Grand juries and 
white-caps show a ten- 
dency to break up these 
de facto relationships. 

The South instinctively feels 
that one form of equality 
implies the other, no mat- 
ter which comes first. Po- 
litical equality breeds de- 
sire for other equalities. 

So South feels that political 
equality incites social 

"Contract" tends to destroy 

"status." But "no man 

liveth unto himself," etc 

So loss of white solidarity. 

Color vs. Money. 

andent iRonu and tbe ^utt) 


Booker Washington's advice 
to the negroes is most 
astute, if history is to be 

Hence the South will not 
admit the n^roes as citi- 
zens and declines to grant 
interracial democracy. 
Whites very democratic 
among themselves. 

Because of the lack of this 
principle, "reconstruc- 
tion" failed. 

So the South believes, as- 
suming the smgle stand- 
ard of race-valuation. 

Hence to free the individual 
is to superinduce associa- 
tion, liie individual can 
not be emancipated apart 
from the race. 

Southerners decline to have 
assimilation of the n^ro 
race and hence stand res- 
olutely by the religion of 
the kin, even though the 
finer parts of morality 
may have to suffer. 

[Comment Appendix 3] 


Coulangea' "Ancient Gty" may lay undue stress on the 
religion of the "ancient city." But most c(»iipetent authori- 
ties agree that kinship and respect for ancestors are basic 
principles in early civilization. 

Are these principles outworn creeds? Has "contract" 

Aristocracy of wealth hon- 
ors labor and intelligence 
and destrojrs religtons dis- 
tinction of blood, 433. 

Public interest of aU leads 
to democracy and equal- 
ity. 437- 

Suffrage must come organi- 
catty and impose obliga- 
tion, 444, 449. 

Plato says Unvs are just only 
when they conform to 
human nature, 478. 

Stoicism, by enlarging hu- 
man association, frees the 
individual, 479. 

Conclusion — Loss of Re- 
ligion of the kin changed 
all things and brought on 

taken the place of ''status"? Recent writers on social, 
economic and political subjects seem to be less enamored 
of Sir Henry Summer Maine's "Status to Contract" theory 
than were writers of a generation ago. The contract theory 
of marriage, for instance, has not produced the best re- 
sults. And it is significant that one of the most progressive 
of the Southern states of to-day. South Carolina, goes so 
far in its allegiance to the status idea of the marriage re- 
lation as to prohibit remarriage after separation. This 
same state has no law requiring marriage licenses.* The 
religious ceremony is paramount. And yet this state of af- 
fairs produces no legal tangles. It is also significant that 
South Carolina is said to have a larger percentage of 
church members than any other state in the Union. 

Is South Carolina going to set an example of moral seces- 
sion from the prevailing mares of the United States ? Will 
she show to the world that there is precious worth in the 
status theory of the caste of the kinf 

These questions may be fanciful, but South Carolina 
and the Southern states generally are well worth studying 
in the light of the study of the "Ancient City." 

Evolution may yet be shown to be conservative of the 
fundamental attributes of the past. It may be that the 
principle of biological kinship must be steadfastly adhered 
to by the nations {natus — ^born). We may find that de- 
mocracy dare not reject the fundamental principles of aris- 
tocracy—kinship is the basis of assimilation. We may yet 
find that territorial common occupancy does not constitute 
a nation. 

Some men are becoming cynical about the claims of "de- 
mocracy." The present writer is not one of their number. 
He has a passionate belief in the rule of the people. But 
who are the people? Laws and institutions and constitu- 
tions do not make a nation. 'Tis the nation that makes 

^ Law since passed. 

anifent Komc ann tbe %outh 357 

Caucasians of Teutonic-Celtic descent were the citizens 
who made the laws and institutions of this country. The 
"people of the United States" were bom such bodily and 
psychically and have subsequently added to their number 
others who could be biologically assimilated. The doors 
are shut against "Mot^olians" and open to "persons of 
African descent." Why this strange discrimination ? 
Would it have occurred had there not been negroes by the 
million who had to be "called" citizens? 

Now, in the light of the foregoing study and comments, 
let us ask ourselves the question : Are Christianity and 
the Moral Law and Humanitarianism to be r^arded as 
forces working in a psychological vacuum? Or must we 
admit that the most sacred principles are conditioned in 
their application by time, place and circumstance, and es- 
pecially by the Laws of Life? Practical men believe in 
Newton's Laws of Motion, but, in applying them to the 
practical affairs of life, do they not take into account the 
resistance of the air? 

At this time of the world's history when the conscious- 
ness of race is becoming more acute; when race-friction is 
increasing the world over; when men of science are dis- 
covering the immense sweep of the principle of heredity ; 
when the unity and solidarity of all social institutions are 
becoming more and more evident — I say, at such a time as 
this, is the South's radicalism as to race a phenomenon en- 
tirely out of touch with modern life? 


(These notes embodied suggestions based on a collection of data 
pertaining to negro character. The facts were gathered by Doctor 
H. W. Odum, who was at the time doing graduate work at the Uni- 
versity of Mississippi under the guidance of the author. The most 
important collection by Dr. Odum were the negro songs. In- 
asmuch as Dr. Odum's subsequent book on Mental and Social Traits 
of the Southern Negro did not include some of the material out- 
lined in thb paper, I have thought that the suggestions involved in 
this outline might prove interesting, especially since they are related 
to other papers in this book, as well as to portions of Doctor 
Odum's book where reference is made to the present writer.) 


Negro life is now, and will be^ determined by the negro's 
character tendencies, psychical and social; by his emnrofk- 
ment (including all the forces that make or mar civiliza- 
tion), and by that special correspondence between his char- 
acter and his surroundings involved in the relations 
between whites and blacks and their attitudes toward one 

Hence the proper interpretation of negro life depends 
upon an estimate of negro character as it is under present 
circtmistances and as it tends to become if the present 
forces afiFecting it remain essentially unchanged. But the 
negro's future is so largely in the hands of his white 
neighbors that we must understand the significance of so- 


jOeffto Ciafut anD ttie X^tsto ^toblem 359 

called race-prejudice in order to forecast the scope of the 
n^fro's development. Having grasped the meaning of die 
forces at work m and oh the nc^o, it is proper to en- 
quire into the fitness of education to develop him within the 
limits set by the whites as well as the limits set by the 
negri/s own nature. 

It thus happens that we must not only ask the pr^nant 
question: What is to become of the negro? but also. For 
what kind of future shall we educate him? 

The study of race-prejudice will show that the whites, 
while admitting the abstract righteousness of the various 
forms of equality — social, economic, political, religious, 
legal — admitting that character is not to be judged by 
such external accidents as color, in practice refuse to grant 
to the negro an actual right to equality of treatment based 
on character. We shall find that this affinnation of the 
right of equality carries with it a check in that the whites 
implicitly and instinctively hold that all forms of equally 
are at bottom based on at least the possibility of social com- 
munion, and that social communion holds out the possibil- 
ity of intermarriage. Now intermarriage between the 
races is held to be taboo, and hence all that tends toward it 
is likewise under the ban. Therefore all forms of social 
recognition are withheld from the negro and in proportion 
as they tend to connect themselves with social communion 
("social equality"). Individual negroes, however excel- 
lent in character, are also members of a race that cannot 
share the community life of the whites, and hence, though 
respected for their character, they are "outside the kin," and 
must socially, politically and in other modes ultimately 
connected with social communion be treated as negroes 
rather than as excellent characters. There seems to be 
much historical justification for this implicit theory of the 
dependence of all forms of social communion on the implied 
right of intermarriage. (Plebeians and Patricians, Nor- 
mans and Saxoos, etc. N^atively : Jews, GjTwies, Turks 
or Gredcs.) 

36o Race SHtbotiostt in tbt %otttb 

Shall we, then, counsel the negro to submit to his fate 
as an "outcast," and become educated to fill his place in our 
civilization as a subordinated race? Shall we educate him 
for a maimed ciHsenshipf Is the present order, which 
seems to be the only feasible one just now, the best possible 
for either race ultimately? Such a situation is unameri- 
can and indefensible before the bar of the civilized con- 
science, unless we are sure that the negro is incapable of 
exercising the rights of developed human nature. And 
even if the negro cannot rise by his own efforts to any 
great heights of civilization, it can hardly he said that the 
presence and work of a race of serfs will be good for the 
economic and moral development of the higher race. 

If the negro is to develop freely, though not at the ex- 
pense of the whites, shall he have a civilization of his own, 
parallel to that of the whites, tho' not touching it at any 
point? This is the present tendency. Such an outcome is, 
of course, not practicable unless the n^^roes are segregated, 
perhaps under a separate state government with full rights 
of citizenship. Even then the federal relation would still 
remain and open all the doors to the evils that now exist. 
Moreover, the cry of the whites, North and South, would 
soon be: The territory is ours. This is a white man's 
country." (Compare attitude toward the Indians.) 

What remains? Life for the negro under his own na- 
tional government, or colonisation in various parts of the 
earth where he can secure free development, or emigration 
by individuals to lands where they will be welcome, or all 
of these movements combined. 

The question, can he maintain himself apart from the 
white race, is hardly relevant. He has done so in Haiti and 
Liberia for several generations. If he has escaped abso- 
lute failure under such untoward conditions as in the case 
of the above unfortunate experiments, he stands a far bet- 
ter chance of success if future experiments are scientifically 
carried out after careful and long continued planning and 

jee0to Ciaftff ann ttie JiSegno l^toblem 3^1 

education. At any rate we cannot do more than our best 
for him and for the whites. Nor should we do less. 

If the n^ro is to remain we must make the most of 
him for the sake of the whites if not for the sake of the 
colored nun himself, granting him such political privi- 
l^;es as will not endanger white supremacy. If the 
negro is to leave this country, however gradually, his edu- 
cation should prepare him for the pioneer Hfe that is be- 
fore him. The older negroes, as a rule, need not be con- 
sidered, they will stay where they are. But if the people 
of this country once decide on this solution of the prob- 
lem, the younger negroes can be compulsorily educated 
and forced to "go where they are sent," though it will be 
far better to secure their free consent and enthusiastic co- 

The vital necessity of studying negro life and character 
now becomes apparent. What we shall do with him de- 
pends upon what he is, what he may be, and whether he is 
in any sense assimilable as a man and as a citizen. If, as 
urged here, all forms of assimilation depend on social com- 
munion, and that in turn on intermarriage, and if — as 
seems certain — amalgamation will not be permitted ; and if, 
finally, the negro cannot remain in this country without 
endangering his own and the white man's future, then 
all the more docs our study of this unfortunate people be- 
come our bounden duty, for we cannot help them establish 
himself unless we know his capacities and potentialities. 
In any case we must educate him, and this we cannot do 
without understanding his nature. 

The crux of the question is "the physical presence of the 
n^ro." Once we decide that his presence is temporary, 
we shall all, in South and North, work together not only to 
educate the black man for his destiny, but also to prepare 
the South gradually for a monoracial rather than a bi- 
racial civilization. 

362 matt S>ttboitot9 in tbt %outh 


I. N^^ro character as related to the present surroundings 
of the negro and as influenced by the attitude of the 

IL Race Attitude (Race-prejudice) and its effects on the 
negro's probable future. 

III. The education of the neg^'o, scholastic and institu- 
tional, as dependent on a knowledge of his character, actual 
and potential. 

IV. Comments on the concrete studies. Suggestions for 
further study. 

I. Traits, etc., as shown in negro songs (mostly secular). 

Considered psychologically and sociologically (processes 
and tendencies). Traits depend on psychical processes. 
Data on Songs gives psychological material as well as so- 
ciological. Superficial glance shows an apparent contrast 
between songs and the tendencies sketched in the rest of the 
material. Fuller study shows unity. Folk-ways and Folk- 

1. B.. Tendencies. Expressiveness: Abuse, "bluff," in- 
decent language, love of display, music, inactivity and 
superficiality, lying, care for churches, emotionalism, exag- 

Appropriativeness : Love of money, desultory work, 
(taking whatever comes along). Gregariousness : Sexual 
morality, sociality, law-abidingness, imitation and original- 
ity, honesty. More inclusive traits, spontaneity as shown 
in expressiveness, gregariousness and appropriativeness 
working together. Vagrancy, wandering, sense of depen- 
dence, lack of restraint, provincialism, childishness, moral 
earnestness (lack of). 

b. "JVeak"' tendencies. Assertiveness. Competition 
with whites, lack of resultfulness. Responsiveness (sym- 
pathy) not gregarious. Irreverence to age (ingratitude 
charged by many). 

jeegro Ciafu and t6e jQegto ptoblem 3^3 

Percqrtiveness. Curiosity and observation power — not 
indicated by data, but probably characteristic. 

3. Psychological Processes. Analysis of "sporting" 
songs.* Feeling. Sensuality. — If I get drunk, who's goin' 
to cany me home ? Brown skin woman, she's chocolate to 
the bone. Learn me to leave all women alone. Qothes all 
dirty and ain't got no bromn. Ole dirty clothes all hangin' 
in de room. Satisfied (women, whisky and brag). Don't 
you let my honey catch yoQ here. Wonder where my 
honey stay las' ntght. Got a baby; don't care whar she 
goes. Biscuit, gravy an' potato pie. 

Sensuous feeling. — If this ain't the Holy Ghost, I don' 
know. It just suits me. You have hurt my feelings but 
I won't let on. Good momin', judge, done killed my man. 

Intact. Imitation. — Dere's one little, two little, three 
Uttle angels (from the whites, but adapted). If I git 
drunk, etc. (adapted from similar songs of the whites). I 
wouldn't have a yaller gal (original from the whites, but 
much changed). Slow train run thro' Arkansas (partially 
from the whites). (Probably many other instances, but in 
all cases adapted and changed by the negroes.) Fatalism. — 
Taint no use o' me a-wukldn' this momin', cause I ain't 
goin' to work no mo'. Good momin', judge, etc. (Prob- 
ably others.) — Concreteness. — Dere ain't no gamblers in 
heaben. R. R. Songs. Joe Turner and the chain-gang. 
Song of the "hand-out." Ev'y since I lef dat country farm, 
ev'ybody been down on me. (Train song with mimicry.) 
Obscene songs in general. 

Humor. — Ole satan weah a i'on shoe. Adam an' de 
rooster had a fight. Stagolee. Good momin', judge, done 
kill my man. Joe Tumer and the Giain-gang. \\Tjen you 
think I'm workin', I'm walkin' the street (pun?), Ev'y- 
body been down on me. Greasy, greasy, Lawd I I killed a 
man, killed a man. Nobody to pay my fine. Goin' to 

364 Slate fl>tt|)oDosp in ibt %outh 

raise hell roun' de pay-cab do'. Went up-town on Friday 
night, went to kill a kid, reached my han' in my pocket, 
nothin' to kill um wid. Wonder whar my honey stay las' 
night. Watermelon smilin' on de vine. Chidcen, don't 
roos' too high for me. 

IVill, Inertia, etc. — ^Take yo' time. I ain't bother yet. 
When you think I'm wukkin' I ain't doin' a thing. "Hand- 
out" song. Still I ain't bother none. — Elasticity of spirit. — 
Slide me down, I'll sho slide up again. 

Irresponsibleness. — ^Went up-town to give my trouble 
away. Got a baby; don't care whar she goes. 

General character attitude, temperament. Bumptious- 
ness. — 'Taint nobody's business but my own. Goin' to 
raise hell around de pay-cab do'. My pahdner fall spraw- 
lin'. I ain't goin' to tell how he died. Went up-town to kill 
a kid, etc. Coon songs. Stagolee, etc. 

Irresponsibleness (under will, add the following) : I 
ain't bother yet. Still I ain't bother none. Good mom- 
in', judge, etc. Wonder whar my baby stay las' night. 

Anthropomorphism. — Ole satan weah a i'on shoe. O 
God, don't talk lak a natchral man. Do, Lord, remember 
me. Religious songs in general. (Songs concerning ani- 


From the sociological study in general: provincialism 
(lodges, churches, songs, fashions, etc.), dependence (re- 
ligion, attitude toward whites, g^egariousness in general), 
lack of restraint (religion, social and family life, sexual 
morality, etc.). From the psychology of the songs: 
Bumptiousness, anthropomorphism, irresponsibleness. 
Sense of humor seems to be a katharsis for all of these 
characteristics. The traits go in pairs : Bumptiousness and 
provincialism, the hoodlum characteristics ; anthropomorph- 
ism and dependence, the savage element ; irresponsibleness 
and lack of restraint, the child ingredient. Tends to be 

iSegto Ctaitic anD tbe J^egco j^toblem 3^5 

hoodlum in his pleasures: savage in his intellectual proc- 
esses; child in wiU. Hoodlumism the danger. Child and 
savage normal ; hoodlum abnormal and criminal. 

Restlessness, loafing, love oi excitement, sensuality — be- 
setting sins. Hoodlumism the refuge of the subtnerged 

Bodily traits. Not specifically dealt with in data. 
"Peristaltic" in bodily temperament. Use of fundamental 
rather than finer accessory elements. Not jerky, smooth 
and flowing, animal gracefulness even when awkward. 
Body not d^enerate. Large death rate mostly due to 
ignorance, carelessness, filth and poverty. Probably not yet 
adapted to high pressure city life. 

Brain undeveloped rather than deficient Associative 
systems meager. Bean's investigations show a fair num- 
ber of negro brains up to and beyond lower level of whites. 
Frontal suture idea overworked and without sufficient 
authority. Qosing of frontal suture may be laigely func- 
tional and hence easily affected by development of the 

Nq^o not an aberrant form of white; nor a hopelessly 
arrested form of anything. His character shows great 
plasticity and not a little promise. His most exploited 
fault, sensually, seems to have been a common one among 
the Corinthian "saints" to whom St. Paul wrote. Shake- 
speare's day seems to have been quite sensual, etc. Fashion 
and custom in sexual morality. Nc^oes develop a system 
of conventions, and are beginning to practice social ostra- 
cism for sexual irregularities. 

Another fault often referred to is lariness. Compare 
Prof. Barrett Wendell in Boston Transcript for Feb. 5, 
1908, where he describes the work of certain white la- 
borers in the north. Laziness is human, especially when 
climate is languorous and one knows nothing, is regarded 
as nothing and has nothing to live for. 

Their religion is often spoken of as peculiarly savage. 
Perhaps so, but compare the older revival scenes, love 

366 Race SMboltoi^ in ttie ^utt 

feasts, class-meetings and the like. Nevertheless, tho' the 
negro's hope of development as a race is by no means to 
be sneered at, he differs from the white not only in develop- 
ment but in kind. The lowest whites have the defects of 
whites, not n^;roes; the highest negroes have the good 
qualities of negroes, not whites. Many of these differences 
are indefinable; but a consideration of the songs (for in- 
stance) of low grade negroes will show at once character- 
istic differences in temperament that will keep whites and 
blacks apart for all time. 


Will follow the lines indicated in "Outline of Argument." 
Race-enmity, race-pride and race-conscience will be dis- 
tinguished. The relation of political, religious and other 
forms of ''equality" (communion) will be shown and their 
connection with intermarriage. The ground will be taken 
that the whites will never permit any form of equality in 
practice (communion). Whites are banning to withhold 
land from n^^es. As soon as the idea takes root in the 
mind of the white masses, this is a white man's country! 
will become a reality in a still greater degree than it is 
to-day. Present status of neg^'o only feasible one if he 
remains in South. Race feeling spreading rapidly all over 
the English-speaking world. "Nation" has ever meant 
"birth" to the Teutonic consciousness. And social utility as 
judged by the ruling population is the supreme test of the 
moral rightness or wrongness of a people's attitude toward 
putting abstract htunanitarianism into practice among peo- 
ple who can never be "of the kin." 

III. Education, etc. 

Interest on the part of whites will hardly increase unless 
it is decided that negroes are ultimately to go. In such case 

JScffto Ctaiw atiD the Btstn ptoblem 367 

all the latent humanitarianism of the South and the whole 
country will be aroused. At present, the tendency is: 
Hands off; let the South settle its own problem. 

The whites could do a gr^ t HpjI for thf Mg.vw., -.r,^ f».- 
**'°TTTiflv«^ bv dr aining ney ro_seryants. Such efforts will 
increase when once it is believed ttiat heroes will not re- 
main and that whites must become self-dependent. White 
doin^ of "chores" is now rapidly on the increase, as well 
as doing of all work on small farms by whites. Negroes 
will learn to respect chores when whites show the real 
nobility of honest handwork of any kind. 

Whites can help n^roes in education by church and 
lodge only on condition that negroes are believed to be no 
permanent part of population. Negroes show the germs 
of social cooperation in their management of their institu- 
tional affairs. Social settlements among negroes by better 
class of colored folk ought to be organized on a scientific 
basis. If the negroes are to be here only temporarily, the 
social help of whites will not be put under the ban as at 
present, inasmuch as it will be seen that only humanitari^ 
motives and results are in evidence, 
/^he mulattocs present the hardest educational probler 
/ for they tend to desire human (white) education. But the 
I better ones can be led to cooperate when they see that a 
I solution of the difficulty is in sight. If the negro is) 
I to have an independent future, the apparently opposinar 
\ views of Washington and DeBois will really prove to J 


General comments on method and special comments on 
the concrete studies with suggestions for future studies. 



(Part of letter to the author from a North Carolina gentleman) 

There (in the South) is the White Lamb to lie 

down side by side with the Black Dog, and the Puritanical 
Pharisee (always from afar ofiF, however) is to bless the 
Union. Unlike Christ, they think it is only meet that "the 
children's bread" should be cast to "Dogs." 

Only fifteen or twenty years ago, despite the orgies of 
reconstruction, a majority of the blacks (it is safe to except 
Beaufort, S. C, and Asheville, N. C, not to mention 
Washington, D. C), when addressing white people, would, 
as a rule, use those old terms of courtesy, — "Sir" and 
"Mam"; and now and then, though rarely, even touch the 
cap; but now these outward signs of deference are nearly 
always positively omitted. If words of this sort are ever 
now employed by blacks, it is when one of your servants 
announces that a "gentleman" or a "lady" wishes to see 
you. We all know now perfectly well when these words are 
used it means a negro man or woman ; but if, instead, they 
said simply "man" or "woman," we are never in doubt as to 
the color, that always designates a white person, not a 
black. Evidently, the intent is to assert that the black is 
not only the equal, but the superior of the white; and 
tho' I have overheard this sort of thing a thousand times, 
I cannot recall a single instance in which the servant was 

Indeed, the whites, on the other hand, are, either 


9om{ietn Detetfocatfon 369 

through policy or fear, so anxious not to antagonize nig- 
gerdom, that one rarely hears them speak of the blacks 
(that is, in their presence) save as "colored people," "nig- 
ger" is tabooed. This implies a certain deference towards 
their pretensions of at least an approximation to social 
equality; a claim that even in Reconstruction Days would 
have been resented. Some might insist this is really a very 
unimportant matter, but it very clearly indicates not only a 
change in conditions, but what is more important by far, the 
direcHoH in which we are drifting; and such movements 
are characteristic 

In the South to-day, as of old, the inside of the sidewalk 
was always accorded to the fair sex; at least in communi- 
ties where the New Woman and the Suffragette have not 
abtmdantly satisfied us that she isn't a bit better or more 
refined than a "Mere Man." Stand to-day on the pavement 
of any street in a Southern town, that is, where it is not 
crowded (then "to the right" as mere matter of necessity, 
has to be the custom), and watch the passers, blacks and 
whites. In nine cases out of ten, the negroes, both men and 
women (more especially the latter) will very persistently 
endeavor to monopolize the inner side; even the negro 
children show what are their home teachings by their ef- 
forts in this direction. There is, it is true, a very consider- 
able difference in this, even in towns not very far apart. 
At least, less than ten years ago, the negroes in Greenville, 
S. C, accepted the white man's "right of way," but at the 
same time, in Spartanburg, S. C, hardly over 30 miles 
further east, time and again, I have seen negroes forcing — 
practically — even "ladies" to take the outside. 

On the other hand, while the whites, say some twenty 
years ago, would have resented this, they now usually 
acquiesce without the faintest protest (the men, too) ; as 
they do in ignoring intentionally many other little imperti- 
nences on the part of the blacks ; none of very a^ressive 
character, but always very evidently intended, not only as 
assertions of independence, but of racial equality, and per- 

370 Slace iDtttiotiittp in tbt ^outb 

sonal, too. It is quite sure that when they effect this with- 
out any resentment being shown by the whites, it inspires 
the average negro with the conviction that he has got the 
better of his betters ; and this is not calculated to make him 
as satisfactory a factor in the labor problem. Your darlde 
who is continually striving to show truculently his in- 
dependence, as a "dependent" (and in vast majority of 
cases he cannot hope to rise above that) makes usually a 
very unsatisfactory sort of laborer. 

No doubt millions of New Englanders would laugh at my 
contention, and insist that such negroes were only showing 
a praiseworthy and manly spirit, — ^yet the better classes, at 
least, at the North would never dream of permitting a 
white servant to take the liberties that black servants at 
the South insist on as one of their privil^es. I have 
seen Yankees in Florida who would address a white la- 
borer as an inferior, and yet in intercourse with the com- 
monest blacks would use the deferential titles of ''Mister" 
and "Mrs." .... 

There is no race of people more prone to personal vanity 
than the negro; none more certain to grab an ell if you 
grant them an inch : therefore when the whites yield in what 
would be usually called "trifles," they may some day dis- 
cover that little by little these trifles have grown into 
"thunder-bolts." The serious part of all this is the sense of 
a moral victory that the negro feels and believes he has 
won over the — at least nominally — superior race: all this 
is a two-edged weapon that cuts both ways; it encourages 
that truculent vanity, which is one of their wily racial 
traits, and at the same time it lessens, fraction by fraction, 
that sense of self-esteem which really helped of old the 
Southerner to be what he pretended — 2l man of the highest 

That faith in ourselves is made up partly of conceit there 
can be no doubt, but in practical affairs in real life it has 
often effected greater results than some of the noblest 
virtues. And when any race loses faith in its own powers 

%outtiem Deteriotatfon 371 

of achievement, when it b^ns to even only suspect that 
its "superiority" is merely a sham, that people will never 
win the prizes of this life, however much their humility may 
entitle them to "many mansions" in Heaven. 

On the other hand, what of the whites? In 1861— if the 
South could have placed equal numbers in the field as the 
Northerners, is it not manifest that in a year or two almost 
the war would have been decided in our favor ? Yet, were 
"Yankees" really more deficient in courage than South- 
erners? Not a bit of it But the Southerner, just because 
he was master of an inferior race, had come to feel and 
honestly believe that he was of the highest type of man- 
kind; and this conviction (conceit you may call it) helped 
at any rate to make him a nobler being, certainly, than had 
he felt that he was only posing, an empty pretender to 
virtues he did not possess. 

But under present conditions, and conditions that have 
persisted for over forty years, the race, in all its nobler 
qualities, could not fail to deteriorate. When we have 
to trackle to a people that we know are our inferiors, 
whether it be from policy or as a matter of necessity, it can- 
not but fail to weaken our moral fiber. 

And we do truckle to the "Heroic Hottentot," and its in- 
fluence is even worse, because, as a rule, it is done less from 
fear than from policy. The larger land-owners (not the 
one-horse farmer), the employers of labor, want to keep on 
good terms with that class on whom they must depend 
largely to cultivate their crops. Any able-bodied n^ro, 
however ignorant or brutal, is an important factor in the 
cotton-patch; and if another man's tenant this year, next 
year he may be mine. Then there is the country merchant, 
the "storekeeper," who really makes the best of his profits — 
not out of the whites, who are shrewd and given to saving, 
but out of the blacks, who are gullible, who forget the past, 
never give a thought to the future — and what they make 
this month is next either on their backs or in their bellies. 
He is really the Tradesman's Treasure-trove, and without 

372 laace SHttohosjf in tbe ^omt 

him they would rarely climb up, as they often do, to the 
position of "leading citizens." They are our "Captains of 
Industry," and in all these the "acquisitive instinct" is the 
one great virtue under the Commercial Code. The highest 
development of some of the higher faculties gives us a 
genius ; the highest development of the lowest faculties gives 
us a Morgan and a Rockefeller. 

Now then two influential classes, the large landholders 
and the country merchants, the one needing the negro for 
what he calls (I think mistakenly) his "cheap labor"; the 
other, really depending on him, as his "best customer" — 
these two, I say, were an exodus of the black race inau- 
gurated, would be the first to bitterly oppose any such 
course. In such an event, the lordly landlord and the lu- 
crative tradesman would grow eloquent in their declaration 
of devotion to the darky. This is his country as well as 
ours (except on "Election Day," of course) ; it is our duty 
("duty" comes in so conveniently as a substitute for the 
omnipotent dollar) to encourage and help them. Back to 
Africa? Never. Our "colored people," no, they must 
never leave us! The Devil, you know, is never seen can- 
vassing openly "on the stump," but always dodging — behind 
it Satisfy the landlord and the merchant that as blacks 
go out whites will come in, and that with this immigra- 
tion of a better class of people, land values will enormously 
increase, and "business" steadily advance, then, I am quite 
sure, even these two classes will help to "speed the parting 

Now, here at the South to-day, nearly every State, in fact, 
I think all of them, are spending liberally to educate the 
negro; that is, to increase the negro vote (which is and al- 
ways will be a Republican asset) in this section. To effect 
this, too, as compared to the North, though poor, we are 
taking the pennies out of the pockets of poor whites, whose 
own children are very imperfectly educated, to eductte the 
blacks ; though it is very evident the more highly we educate 
them the less likely they are to remain contented with a sub- 

%outt)etn Deteifotatfon 373 

ordinate position racially or individually. Indeed, if we 
really intend to persist in exacting this racial subordinatioii, 
it is an injustice to the negro, because by reenforcing his dis- 
content, we, of course, lessen his chances of happiness. It 
is true, here and there, by this method, we may evolve a 
"Booker Washington" (that is out of the mongrelized por- 
tion of the negroes), but surely the vast majority of them, 
if never to be accepted as equals of the whites, had much 
best remain fairly contented plowboys than thoroughly 
disaffected, disgruntled professors or parsons ; all the more 
so — as there would be, in any case — probably not one "Du- 
bois" to a thousand laboring darkies. It is both foolish and 
unfair to encourage methods that bene&t (even if that be 
not doubtful) a very few, and practically punish the many. 

No doubt even many Southerners believe that the very 
liberal assistance given to educational institutions for the 
blacks in the South is an evidence of honest philanthropy; 
but this, as a rule, is aUc^ther a mistake. Instead of being 
an evidence of the deep interest the Yankee takes in the 
negro's welfare, it very clearly shows their shrewd recc^ni- 
tion of the fact that the best way to protect the Northern 
States from an undesired and undesirable class of colored 
citizens is to make them better satisfied with their condi- 
tions in the South. Of course, just as the Southern planter, 
who is really after "cheap labor," prates about his friendly 
interest in his black hirelings, so the wealthy and far- 
s^hted Pharisee of New England covers his "exclusion 
policy" with the broad mantle of philanthropy. Nor can I 
blame him. Everything, including, of course, too, the 
"other fellow" should be sacrificed to maintain the racial 
purity of the white man. That once lost, there can be no 
bcqie of r^eneration. 

. . . I have no hopes of getting rid of alt of our 
"brothers in black"; the "poor we shall have always with 
us," but the swollen swells, the "gentlemen of color," who 
are haugh^, and the "ladies of color," who are very gen- 
erally naughty, these, and the really discontented, it is 

374 Slace SHtboiMajf in tbt ^outb 

safe to say, would avail themselves of free tickets to 
a show where the whites, at any rate, would have no 
"showing." ... 

. . . Depriving the negro of his vote by tricks can 
never prove a really satisfactory triumph. It is now only 
winked at because the lesser of two evils. . . . 

Even the Indians, a much nobler race than the Africans, 
recognized the white man's primacy. They have a saying — 
even to this day — among the Cherokees in western North 
Carolina: 'Tirst, white man; next, Indian, then Indian dog, 
then — nigger 1" 

As I have explained, the changes from year to year are 
so very slight that those who live in the "Black Belt" fail 
to recognize them at all; nor perhaps should I, but as for 
some twelve years past I have lived — at least usually from 
April to November — in the mountains of western North 
Carolina, where the blacks in rural neighborhoods are 
hardly ever seen; and in winter usually far south in 
Florida, which is less infested by "colored gentlemen" than 
by Yankees, just because only at comparatively long inter- 
vals am I brought in contact with conditions here, I can 
perceive the changes which the resident flatters himself 
haven't occurred. 

But they "have occurred," and when the drift is always 
and steadily in one direction such changes will eventually 
entirely revolutionize conditions. The negro will never — as 
a pure blooded black — dominate, it is true; but the white 
man will deteriorate and become mongrelized. 

A summer boarder who occupied one of my two cottages 
near Hendersonville last season, spoke in almost eulogistic 
terms of a "colored" doctor in their little town; and she 
mentioned that a cousin of mine (now dead), also a doctor 
in same place, often called on him for "consultations." 
Though of old Southern stock, she held this quite right and 

A wise and witty Frenchman has said: "It is only the 
first step that costs." Once you stoop, whether it is from 

%ontlieni Deteriotatlon 375 

necessity or policy or convenience, you will find that the 
oftener you do it the less you will feel its degradation. 
The big planter who objects to any negro exodus, because 
it will lessen his supply of labor, knows perfectly well that 
if socially he and his escape to a lai^ degree the racial con- 
tamination, his poor neighbors do not. This now may con- 
cern him very little, but in the next generation the sons 
of that very poor neighbor inteimarry with his own, and 
sooner or later the deterioration of one class will affect 
imperiously a higher and better one. Try as we may, we 
can never in this country build up a really "privileged 
class" who will not suffer for the sins of those nominally 
below them. 




I. Anthropology ' 

(See Haddon. Study of Man, Appendix A: The An- 
thropological Sciences — Brinton's Classification.) 

1. Somatology. — Craniology (celebrated frontal suture 
hypothesis, which keeps on getting stated uncritically in 
book after book) ; myology ; "peristaltic" action of n^^o 
muscles (T. P. B.) ; splanchnology (peculiarities of sexual 
organs, etc.) (Broca). 

2. Anthropometry. — ^Data collected by Hoffman taken 
as a basis and greatly extended. School children; white and 
black. Experimental building up of children of both races 
with physical culture and proper dieting. 

3. Psychology ("Laboratory"). — Sensation, reaction- 
time, etc., effects of emotion, etc. (See later for Psychol- 
ogy of Character.) 

4. Developmental and Comparative Heredity. — ^Traits 
running through n^^ families — how far biological and 
how far "social" inheritance. "Spontaneous variations." 
"Rapid mutations." Ethnic anatomy, physiology, pathology. 
So-called pubertal arrest of development. How far is it 
associated with bad sexual and other habits? Comparative 
nosology and medical geography (immunity, susceptibility, 
adaptability to climate, etc. See references by Tillinghast, 
et al.). Hookworm, pellagra, etc. Vital statistics. Fer- 
tility and sterility. Causes and tendencies. Zones of fer- 
tility and zones of morbidity. Mulatto and black. Habits 
and hygiene. Artificial sterility. Concubinage vs. prostitu- 


9pllafiu« of ftuggeniue 9tuiip 377 

tion (Hoffman). Crimiiul anthropology. (Native or en- 
vironmental. Consciousness of being outcasts.) 

II. Ethnology 

1. Social. — Government, African, American. Tutelage 
in African colonies and West Indian n^ro states. Ethical 
standards: morality vs. religion (a hoary contrast that 
needs critical examination : the indications are that the most 
religious negroes are the most moral, and vice versa). 

Marriage relations. (How much due to slavery, how 
much to white prestige, scorn and lust.) Women working 
for men (Cp. S. Africa). 

Social classes and institutions. Negro aristocracy, how 
far imitative, how far does it draw color line between mu- 
lattoes and blacks? 

Develc^Mnent of societies, lo(^s, etc. (H. W. Odum). 

2. Technological. — Tool-making. (Study of "nat- 
ural" artisans and their devices — not much "necessity" 
to stimulate technolt^cal invention in the jungles of 

Music, how far spontaneous; what are its differentiae? 
Games — variations from those of whites. (E*Iace to study 
latent possibilities of inventiveness. See Groos : Play of 
Animais and Play of Man.) 

3. Religion. Is it emotional or is it excitable? Moral, 
immoral or non-moral? Are there many temperamental 
types, as among whites? N^ro Presbyterians, Episco- 
palians, Congregattonalists, Roman Catholics, "Northern" 
Methodists, etc., as compared with independent negro 

Peculiarities of theology. Idea of a "Saviour." "Jus- 
tification." "Heaven and Hell." Religion, rhythm, and 

4. Linguistics. — Vocal peculiarities. Africanisms. La- 
bials vs. gutturals. "Gullah" (coast of S. C. Sewanee Re- 
view, 1909). "Negro laugh." Poetry and rhythm. 

37S Slace fSMbohots in tde ^outti 

S- Folk-lore, — "Uncle Remus" variations : Georgia, Vir- 
ginia, Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana. How far do negproes 
live in folk-lore stage ? 

(6. Esthetic.) 

(7. Moral.) 

(8. Institutional, etc.) 

III. Ethnography 

1. General. — Migrations toward alluvial regions, toward 
cities, etc. Town vs. city families and individuals. Is 
Stone right in calling negroes migratory? Is this neces- 
sarily a bad trait ? 

2. Special. — Relation of African to Mediterranean race. 
Japanese and mulattoes. (Ripley, Sergi, et al.) 

IV. Arch(Bology 

Why is there no tropical African archaeology? Heredity 
vs. Environment. Is there a jungle archaeology anjrwhere? 
Primitive Negro Industries (Bras, Ripley's bibliography.) 

A. Psychology of Character 

I. Negro as (i) child, (2) savage, (3) hoodlum, (4) 
tramp, (5) criminal. Consciousness of being an "outcast." 

II. Tendencies, instinctive and habitual: Gregarious, 
Appropriative, Expressive, etc. (Ethological system of T. 
P. B.) 

III. Character in Song (see notes in Odum's materials). 

IV. Temperament. Is there a typical negro tempera- 
ment ? E.g., are all negroes "emotional" in any sense of the 
word ? Are there sub-racial types of temperament ? 

V. Psychological phases and stages (assimilation, imi- 

%pii8bus Of ftumrestftie fttunp 379 

tation, imagination, attention, endeavor, pursuit, interest 
belief, anticipation, etc.) (T. P. B.'s Psychology of Char- 
acter). Do the psychological phases square with the im- 
pulsive tendencies? 

"Stock traits" : Unresentful, ungrateful, sensual, lazy, un- 
observant, shiftless, emotional, shallow, patient, etc. Great 
need of critical working over of concrete cases. (£.g.. Is the 
negro usually unresentful because of his amiability, his shal- 
lowness, his caution, etc. ? Does he control his anger better 
than the American Indian does? Is the Indian as resent- 
ful as he used to be? etc., etc.) Collect "stock traits" from 
farmers, merchants, housekeepers, writers like Hoffman, 
Tillinghast, Stone, Thomas, Keane, Ratzel, etc., and com- 
pare with collections of concrete cases critically and "bio- 
graphically" studied. 

B. Psychology of Roce Prejudice 

I. Pleboan vs. Patrician, "Blood." 
a. Slave vs. Freeman. 

3. Unlikeness: (a) physical; (b) social; (c) intellectual; 
(d) moral, etc 

4. "Rights," "Equalities." 

5. Biolc^cal and psychological bases of democracy. 

C. Study of Suggested "Solutions" of Race Problem 

1. Amalgamation. (White and Negro, Mongol and 
Negro, Indian and Negro, etc. South America. Cp. Teu- 
tonic vs. Romanic amalgamation with negroes.) 

2. Peasantry. (A. H. Stone, et al.) 

3. Parallel civilization. No ge<^raphical s^egation. 

4. S^regation, local and sectional. 

5. Colonization: commercial, benevolent, etc., vs. pre- 
pared and scientific. 

6. Degeneration. Dying out 

7. Race War. Extermination, etc. 

38o laace iDtttiotiosp in tbt ^outb 

AA. Some Reasons for Studying the Negro Problem 

1. Understand the past and then do justice to slave- 
holder, abolitionist, etc. 

2. Seeing things as they are and thus allay bitterness; 
discourage dilettante dogmatism; inhibit senseless agita- 
tion ; remove anxiety. 

3. Prepare the way for a solution and mark out plans 
for carrying it into effect. 

4. Scientific spirit of the age taking hold of all such 
problems. Correlation of scattered data obtained by the 
biological, anthropological, psychological, and social sci- 
ences. Cooperation of students of Race Problems. 

5. Bringing North and South together in a non-senti- 
mental, intellectual, moral, scientific and humanitarian 

6. Duty to the negro. 

7. Saving the South's best self from anxiety, arrogance, 

8. Utilizing the South's resources by removing doubt 
and suspicion, etc., encouraging white immig^tion and dis- 
couraging white emigration. 

9. Direct education : physical, mental, moral, industrial. 

10. Prevent amalgamation. 

11. Prevent strife. 

12. Help solve the world's race problems. 

BB. Some Questions That Need to be Answered 

I. Does the negro show potentialities evincing high pos- 
sibilities as a race? Can these possibilities be made kinetic 
under present conditions? Is the negro really adaptable, 
or is he parasitic? Is his slowness of development due to 
deep-lying anatomical and physiological causes or to envi- 
ronmental causes ? 

9pUabus of ^uffgestfue 9int^ 381 

2. Is the n^o deteriorating? If so, why? Is civili- 
zation killthg him, or is it neglect, ignorance, slum life, 
etc.? Is his peculiar proneness to certain diseases con- 
nate? If so, why did it not develop in slavery? Is the 
progress of the few a permanent gain correlative with a 
stable, physical basis, or is there physical deterioration go- 
ing on in the "best families" ? 

3. Is the n^ro developing his own civilization? Can 
it stand alone? Has he enough talented individuals? Can 
the few save the race ? Is hts morality deeply based, or is 
it merely conventional? 

4. Where does he fit in? Will the Southern whites al- 
low him to develop freely? Should they do so, and be 
content with a lower efficiency than might come to a purely 
white population? If the negro should develop a worthy 
parallel civilization, can it stand permanently without bio- 
logical assimilation of the races? 

5. Are the "equalities" all based on potential social 
equality? Is social equality possible or advisable in a de- 
mocracy without intermarriage? What would happen if 
race enmity could be put out of the mind of the Southern 
masses? If the gap between the races is growing, should 
we expect the problem to "solve itself"? 

6. Should people be educated in the dark without ref- 
erence to their future? Will the Southern whites give the 
negro "industrial education" at the expense of the white 
children ? Should the negro Slite be as well educated as the 
superior individuals among the whites? If education gives 
freedom and initiative and calls for liberty, equality, and 
fraternity, shall we expect negro education to act in some 
exceptional way? Is there any probability that Southern 
whites will ever grant the negroes all the equalities that 
free human souls ought to have ? 

7. Is there greater danger in drifting than in organizing 
a national study of the question? Is now always the day 
for foresight as well as "salvation," or is the Southern 
situation suf&ciently satisfactory for all practical purposes? 

382 laace fl>tt()otiosi^ in tbt ^outb 

Shall our Southern children of the dominant race be al- 
lowed to grow up in an atmosphere of contempt and arro- 
gance and hatred and our men and women suffer from 
chronic uneasiness and anxiety and a divided conscience, or 
is the present situation morally and economically satis- 



I. Comparative data as to whites, ne^oes and mu- 

II. Following leads indicated by cross-classification. For 
instance, in studying number of rooms in houses, follow 
up suggestions as to biological effects (disease, maldevclop- 
ment), social conditions, economic bearings, moral results 
and the like. Reduce qualitative data to quantitative and 
explain quantitative by qualitative. 

III. Afany observers to study one topic, and one ob- 
server to study many topics. Check off results of one ob- 
server by those of another; one locality by another, etc. 
Fresh study of Philadelphia to compare with Du Bois' ; of 
Columbia, Mo., to compare with Elwang's; of Covington, 
Ga., and Oxford, Miss., to compare with Odum's; and so 

IV. Concrete studies of localities to be compared with 
general census and other statistical results. 

Topics (Divisions Not Mutually Exclusive) 

I. Biological and Pathological. — Vital statistics. Num- 
ber of rooms and persons in room. Articles of diet, and 
methods of food preparatim. Amount and kinds of exer- 
cise. Amount of sleep and rest. Consumption of liquor, 
tobacco, etc. Diseases. Use of drugs and patent medi- 

384 I&ace Ji>rttiotiosi^ in tbt ^utti 

cines. Insanity and feeble-mindedness. Strength, vitality 
and physical dRciency tests. Care of bodies; teeth; bath- 
ing. Efficient children of inefficient parents and inefficient 
children of efficient parents. Longevity. Negro types: 
Senegambian, Guinea, Bantu, "Arab," etc. Percentage of 
n^joid characteristics. 

II. Economic and Industrial. — Per capita taxes, due, col- 
lected; poll-taxes; relation of tax to income. Ownership 
of land and homes. Mortgages and liens. Savings ac- 
counts. Kinds of expenditure. Relative amounts spent for 
food, clothing, amusements, and the like. Buying on install- 
ment plan. Hours of work and play. "Basket brigade." 
Vag^nts. Tramps. Length of engagements of servants 
and laborers. Care of stock, tools, utensils, implements. 
Insurance: fire, life, funeral; companies, societies, fra- 
ternal orders. Investments. Farming arrangements: ad- 
vances, interest paid, crop-sharing and the like. Peonage: 
"moral" cases not reached by law. ("Inside information — 
not for publication," except statistically.) 

III. Social and Ecclesiastical. — Churches: Number, 
membership, real and nominal, finances, money spent <hi 
buildings, charities, missions, converts, backsliders, "repeat- 
ers." Societies: fraternal, social, economic, and so on. 
Marriages and divorces. Mig^tions: time, place and cir- 
cumstance (a typical illustration of cross-classification). 
Men supported by women. Memberships in labor unions. 
Exclusions from labor unions and fraternal orders. Keep- 
ing rules of church and society. Number attending institu- 
tions supported by whites; shifting of membership. Pref- 
erences in song, story, jokes, Bible texts and the like. Col- 
lection of songs, proverbs, etc. Spontaneous vs. adapted or 
imitated. Social circles due to shades of color. S^jega- 
tion in cities, towns, and country. Servants living in serv- 
ants' rooms or servants' houses vs. number living at homes 
— preference shown. Composition of households. Com- 
parison of numbers as to childlike, savage, hoodlum, va- 

apllaiius of «tatf0Hcal %mtg 385 

grant, tramp, criminal. Giving and receiving presents. 
(These are only a few samples of topics.) 

III. Psychological and Moral. — Crimes. Prostitutes 
and concubines. Illegitimate births. Abortions. Infanti- 
cide. Social and religious taboo for immorality. Ideas of 
moral turpitude in crimes, sins, wrongs, mistakes. Gam- 
bling. Rape: black victims and white victims. White 
rapists and n^ro women. Amalgamation : city, town and 
country. Classification of crimes by motive, kinds, etc, 
Reddivants. Kinds of criminal temperament, disposition, 
etc. Cruelty to animals and children. Neglect of old peo- 
ple and children. Pilfering. Instances of usury, especially 
ratio of mulattoes to blacks. Kindness to whites. Grat- 
itude vs. ingratitude. Revenge. Preference for money 
vs. preference for playtime. Relative preference in at- 
tending funerals and weddings. Average wait between first 
and second marriages. Payment of debts. Proportion of 
those progressing as compared with those retrograding or 
standing still. 

IV. Legal and Political. — Verbal accusations vs. written 
preferment of charges. Litigation. Voters ; public facials 
(increase and decrease in proportion to population and lit- 
eracy). Owning and carrying weapons. Kinds of weapons. 
Proportion saved from arrest or jail by white people. Poll- 
taxes paid by whites and relation to votes. Negroes killed 
without notice being taken by law. Convictions and acquit- 
tals in cases of blacks against whites and vice versa. Num- 
bers deprived of votes illegally. 

V. Intellectaal and Edvcational. — Illiterates and unlet- 
tered. Mental arrest at puberty. Scholastic data, especially 
ebb and flow of attendance. Niunber and kinds of school 
houses and playgrounds. Manual training, music, physical 
culture. Methods of discipline, corporal punishment. Effi- 

386 Slace SMuottotf in tlie %otttb 

ciency of graduates. Consulting palmists, astrologists, 
mediums, etc Gassification of superstitions, magical prac- 
tices, etc 

Percentage who pass examinations as teachers, lawyers, 
doctors. Number of newspapers, books, magazines in pro- 
portion to literacy. Percental of talent in music, art, sci- 
ence, etc Pioneer qualities. 

Relation of illiteracy to crime. 

Favorite phrases and expressions. Characteristic gram- 
matical, and rhetorical and logical and observational errors.